Clive W. Kilmister

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Clive W. Kilmister (1924 – May 2, 2010) was a British Mathematician who specialised in the mathematical foundations of Physics, especially Quantum Mechanics and Relativity and published widely in these fields (see References). He was one of the discoverers of the Combinatorial Hierarchy, along with A. F. Parker-Rhodes, E. W. Bastin, and J.C.Amson. He was strongly influenced by astrophysicist Arthur Eddington and was well known for his elaboration and elucidation of Eddington’s fundamental theory.

Kilmister attended Queen Mary College London for both his under- and postgraduate degrees. His PhD was supervised by cosmologist George McVittie [1] (himself a student of Eddington), and his dissertation was entitled ‘’The Use of Quaternions in Wave-Tensor Calculus’’ which related to Eddington’s work. Kilmister received his doctoral degree in 1950.[1] His own students included Brian Tupper (1959, King's College London, now professor emeritus of general relativity and cosmology at University of New Brunswick Fredericton [2]), Samuel Edgar (1977, University of London), and Tony Crilly (reader in mathematical sciences at Middlesex University and author of The Big Questions: Mathematics [3] (1981).[2]

Kilmister was elected as a member of the London Mathematical Society during his doctoral studies (March 17, 1949). Upon graduation, he began his career as an Assistant Lecturer in the Mathematics Department of King’s College in 1950. The entirety of his academic career was spent at King’s. In 1954, Kilmister founded the King’s Gravitational Theory Group, in concert with Hermann Bondi and Felix Pirani, which focused on Einstein’s theory of general relativity. At retirement, Kilmister was both a Professor of Mathematics and Head of the King’s College Mathematics Department.[3]

Honors, positions, and titles[edit]

Publications (arranged by year of publication)[edit]

  • ”Eddington’s Statistical Theory (Oxford Mathematical Monographs) ” (1962)[5]
  • ”Hamiltonian Dynamics” (1964)[5]
  • ”The Environment in Modern Physics: A Study in Relativistic Mechanics” (1965)[5]
  • ”Men of Physics: Sir Arthur Eddington” (1966)[5]
  • ”Rational Mechanics” (1966)[5]
  • ’’Language, Logic, and Mathematics’’ (1967)[5]
  • ’’Exploring University Mathematics 2: Lectures Given at Bedford College’’. (1968)[5]
  • ’’Nature of the Universe (World of Science) ’’ (October 18, 1971)[5]
  • ’’General Theory of Relativity (Selected Readings in Physics) ’’ (November 1973)[5]
  • ’’Relativistic Mechanics, Time and Inertia (Fundamental Theories of Physics) ’’ (December 31, 1984)[5]
  • ’’Disequilibrium and Self-Organisation’’ (July 1, 1986)[5]
  • ”Russell (Philosophers in Context” (August 21, 1986)[5]
  • ’’Radiation from Relativistic Electrons (American Institute of Physics Translation Series) ’’ (October 1986)[5]
  • ’’Special Relativity for Physicists’’ (December 1987)[5]
  • ’’Schrödinger: Centenary Celebration of a Polymath’’ (March 31, 1989)[5]
  • ’’Combinatorial Physics’’ (October 1995)[5]
  • ’’Lagrangian Dynamics: An Introduction for Students’’ (December 31, 1995)[5]
  • ”Special Theory of Relativity” (January 2000)[5]
  • ’’Eddington’s Search for a Fundamental Theory: A Key to the Universe’’ (July 7, 2005)[5]
  • ’’The Origin of Discrete Particles (Series on Knots and Everything) ’’ (August 7, 2009)[5]


  1. ^ Robinson, David (2010-05-31). "Death of Clive Kilmister". hyperspace@aei. Max Planck Society. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  2. ^ "Clive William Kilmister". The Mathematics Genealogy Project. North Dakota State University Department of Mathematics. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Clive Kilmister Obituary". London Mathematical Society Newsletter. London Mathematical Society. 2010. p. Deaths. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  4. ^ "ANPA Home Page". Stanford University. 1997. Retrieved 2011-09-21. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t C. W. Kilmister (1962). Eddington’s Statistical Theory (Oxford Mathematical Monographs). Clarendon Press. ASIN B0006AYA6O.