(b. 15 December 1923) was born in Crowthorne, Berkshire, England, and raised in Winchester. In 1941 he was awarded a scholarship to Trinity College at Cambridge University, and while there studied physics under P. Dirac and pure math under G.H. Hardy and A.S. Besicovitch. He went to Cornell in 1947 and worked there with H. Bethe and R. Feynman, and was soon appointed a professor, joining the Cornell faculty in 1951. In 1953 he accepted a professorship at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study where he is currently Professor Emeritus.
Freeman Dyson was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1952, and has since been awarded honorary degrees from more than 20 institutions. He is also a Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He has received the Danny Heineman Prize from the American Institute of Physics (1965), the Lorentz Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy (1966), the Hughes Medal of the British Royal Society (1968), the Max Planck Medal of the German Physical Society (1969), and the Wolf Prize in Physics from the Wolf Foundation (1981).
Freeman Dyson has made numerous major contributions to theoretical physics and pure math. These include his famous 1949 papers "The radiation theories of Tomonaga, Schwinger, and Feynman", and "The S-matrix in quantum electrodynamics". He is also well-known for his famous 1960 paper proposing that infrared radiation be examined in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
(originally featured 13 October 2009)
Each week Scholarpedia recognizes a different contributing author by featuring a short bio of them on the home page.