03 Dick on his 80th birthday 03
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  Tributes to Dick Sillitto on his 80th Birthday,
  from forty-two physicists

Links 14 : from Archie Howie and the class of 1956

Women Pioneers in Plant Biology - Enid MacRobbie


George Square 1956?  From our kitchen window.  House on right was home of mathematician Sir Edmund Whittaker and his wife, the kindest of neighbours.  Satan & Margo Rowlands lived next door.  'David Home Tower' is here now.

Prof. Archie Howie University of Cambridge Physics, Cavendish Laboratory Madingley Road Cambridge, England CB3 OHE United Kingdom E-mail: ah30@phy.cam.ac.uk

Enid MacRobbie told me about your father's up-coming 80th birthday on 3 March so I hope that you can pass on this message of congratulation on behalf of the BSc Physics class of 1956 together with any further comments or corrections which this message stimulates.

The attached three photographs were taken at a dinner party held for staff and final year students in the Beehive Restaurant during the awkward period between completion of the final exam papers and announcement of the results. In consultation with James Grieve I have been able to identify most, though not all of those present.

Prof.Norman A. Feather, Derek L.Thomas, Catherine A. (Mary) Smith,   James (Jim) Grieve, ProfNicholas Kemmer   Dr.R.D.Connor, Thomas W.B. (Tom) Kibble, Dr. Marianne A. S. Ross. Ivor Curran, Dr.Arthur Brown, Mary Y.Smith, Dr.D.L.Pursey   Thomas A. (Tom) Cook, Dr.G.Evans, Robert B. (Bob)   Galloway. Seated - Ian I.Fairweather, Dr.Richard (Dick) SiHito, Archibald (Archie)   Howie, Dr.Jim Hughes.
Click on small picture to enlarge it; hover to read names

Judging by Dick Sillitto's appearance at that time, I think we may be forgiven if at this late stage we express our surprise on learning that he is only slightly more than a decade senior to us! Otherwise he did in fact behave as someone close to our age and was most approachable. Some of us enjoyed a very hospitable evening at his house; others recall various snippets from his lectures - in particular the remark "mathematics is a substitute for thought".

By the time we came to his course on quantum mechanics we had already had a baptism by fire in the (rather mathematically presented) wavemechanics course of Dr Hughes and so perhaps felt confident enough to ask Dick questions. These always got very careful consideration. In particular I remember that we asked why the electron wave function in say hydrogen had to be single valued - should not this restriction be placed only on observable quantities like the probability distribution? About half of the next lecture was devoted to dealing with this and I think that I can even identify a passage in the first edition of Non Relativistic Quantum Mechanics by D. Sillitto where the point is mentioned. It seems to have disappeared from the second edition though!

If any of the above provokes corrections, comments or further information I would be glad to get it. Unfortunately I can't provide much information about what has happened to many of my contemporaries. Tom Kibble is a recently retired Professor from Imperial (as am I from Cambridge). James Grieve has retired from Physics school teaching in Bathgate. Bob Galloway joined the staff in Edinburgh and I expect has recently retired also. Ian Fairweather followed R.D. Connor to Canada but I have not heard anything more of him for decades.

Best wishes to Dick and the rest of you as he passes this auspicious milestone!

Archie Howie.

PS : please note that they were actually taken not by me but by someone else (probably one of the other students) at the party. Jim Grieve also still has a set of the photoes but he can't recall who took them either

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