Sir Tom Kibble, British physicist, Died at 83


Sir Thomas Walter Bannerman “Tom” Kibble, CBE FRS was born on December 23, 1932, and died on June 2, 2016.

He was a British theoretical physicist.

Sir Kibble was a senior research investigator at The Blackett Laboratory.

He also served at Imperial College London and Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College.

Sir Tom Kibble research interests were in quantum field theory, especially the interface between high-energy particle physics and cosmology.

Sir Kibble has worked on mechanisms of symmetry breaking, phase transitions and the topological defects (monopoles, cosmic strings or domain walls) that can be formed.

Tom’s paper on cosmic strings introduced the phenomenon into modern cosmology.

Sir Tom Kibble graduated from the University of Edinburgh (BSc 1955, MA 1956, PhD 1958).

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society, of the Institute of Physics, and of Imperial College London, a member of the American Physical Society, the European Physical Society and the Academia Europaea, an honorary member of the Romanian Academy as well as a CBE.

Sir Kibble was awarded the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, the Rutherford and Guthrie Medals of the Institute of Physics, and the Albert Einstein Medal.

Professor Tom Kibble pioneered the study of topological defect generation in the early universe.

His extensive research showed the paradigmatic mechanism of defect formation across a second-order phase transition is known as the Kibble-Zurek mechanism.

Sir Kibble was knighted in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to physics.

Anne Allan was his wife, from 1957 until her death in 2005, they had three children.

Sir Tom Kibble passed away 83 yrs old.