, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 346-356

In Appreciation

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Leslie Foldy’s diminutive stature and modest demeanor gave little clue to the powerful intellect responsible for several significant advances in theoretical physics.Two were particularly important. His 1945 theory of the multiple scattering of waves laid out the fundamentals that most modern theories have followed (and sometimes rediscovered), while his work with Siegfried Wouthuysen on the nonrelativistic limit of the Dirac equation opened the way to a wealth of valuable insights. In this article we recall some of the milestones along Foldy’s path through a life in physics.

Some of the anecdotes we report here were related to one of the authors (PLT) just before an event in 2000 celebrating Foldy’s 80th birthday, while others were told to us over the course of the nearly forty years during which we were colleagues. Still others were uncovered during the course of WJF’s research for his book, Physics at a Research University: Case Western Reserve 1830–1990 (Cleveland: Case Western Reserve University, 2006). Other details were provided by Foldy’s widow, Roma.
Philip L. Taylor is the Perkins Professor of Physics and Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. William J. Fickinger is Professor Emeritus of Physics at Case Western Reserve University.