The untimely and sudden deaths of Steve Gubser and Ann Nelson, two of the United States’ greatest talents in the theoretical physics of particles, fields and strings, has cast a pall over my summer and that of many of my colleagues.
I have not been finding it easy to write a proper memorial post for Ann, who was by turns my teacher, mentor, co-author, and faculty colleague. I would hope to convey to those who never met her what an extraordinary scientist and person she was, but my spotty memory banks aren’t helping. Eventually I’ll get it done, I’m sure.
(Meanwhile I am afraid I cannot write something similar for Steve, as I really didn’t know him all that well. I hope someone who knew him better will write about his astonishing capabilities and his unique personality, and I’d be more than happy to link to it from here.)
In this context, I’m gratified to see that the New York Times has given Ann a substantive obituary, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/science/ann-nelson-dies.html, and appearing in the August 28th print edition, I’m told. It contains a striking (but, to those of us who knew her, not surprising) quotation from Howard Georgi. Georgi is a professor ...