Dr William (‘Bill’) Stewart Woolcock 1934-2012

Thursday 27 September 2012

Bill was born in Brisbane on 14 April 1934 and died in Canberra on 16 September 2012. He graduated BSc from the University of Queensland before obtaining a postgraduate place at Clare College to undertake a PhD at the University of Cambridge, U.K. His supervisor was James Hamilton and he obtained a PhD from Cambridge University in 1961, although his thesis was completed in the Physics Department at University College London, where Hamilton had become a Professor in 1960. Following his PhD, Bill was a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, University of Queensland from 1961-63 and then a lecturer at University College, London, 1964-8.

In 1968, he came to the Department of Theoretical Physics, Research School of Physical Sciences, as a Senior Fellow and remained a valued staff member of the Department of Theoretical Physics until his retirement in 1997. From 1998 until 2008 Bill continued to contribute to the Department as a Visiting Fellow.

During Bill’s membership of the Department of Theoretical Physics, he worked and made important contributions to several areas of nuclear and particle physics: pion-nucleon scattering, deuteron photodisintegration and the electroweak interaction. In this work Bill employed his wide knowledge of several mathematical techniques involving  dispersion relations, Stieltjes transforms, Mandelstam double spectral representation and quantum field theory to obtain significant results.

Many members of the Research School are saddened by the sudden passing of Bill, a modest and kind person, who will always be missed.

Brian Robson,

Theoretical Physics

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