Arnold Wolfendale

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Sir Arnold Wolfendale
Arnold Whittaker Wolfendale

(1927-06-25) 25 June 1927 (age 92)[1]
Alma materUniversity of Manchester
Known forAstronomer Royal
Cosmic rays[3]
Spouse(s)Audrey Darby Dorothy Middleton
AwardsFellow of the Royal Society (1977)[4]
Knight Bachelor (1995)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Manchester
Durham University
University of Ceylon
University of Hong Kong
ThesisThe nuclear interactions of mu-mesons (1953)
Doctoral studentsGeorge Efstathiou[5]

Sir Arnold Whittaker Wolfendale FRS[4] (born 25 June 1927)[1][2] is a British astronomer who served as Astronomer Royal from 1991 to 1995. He is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Physics at Durham University[6] and served as president of the European Physical Society (1999–2001).[3][7][8][9][10][11][12][5][13][14][15][16]

Education and background[edit]

His family moved to Flixton, Lancashire when he was 18 months. He attended Stretford Grammar School in Manchester. Wolfendale was graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics from the University of Manchester in 1948, followed by a PhD in 1953[17] and a Doctor of Science in 1970.


During his career he held academic posts at the universities of University of Manchester (1951–6), Durham University (1956–92), the University of Ceylon and the University of Hong Kong, and was head of department at Durham where he remains an emeritus professor. He was Professor of Physics at Durham from 1965–92.

Awards and honours[edit]

Wolfendale was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1973, and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1977.[4] He served as Astronomer Royal from 1991 to 1995. In 1992, Wolfendale retired from teaching, and he was knighted in 1995. In 1996 he became Professor of Experimental Physics with the Royal Institution of Great Britain. A lecture theatre in Durham University's new Calman Learning Centre has been named in his honour. He is an honorary DSc of Bucharest University and foreign member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. His nomination for the Royal Society reads

Personal life[edit]

He married Audrey Darby in 1951. They had twin sons. His wife Audrey died in 2007. He married anthropologist Dorothy Middleton, at Durham Cathedral, on 5 September 2015.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "WOLFENDALE, Sir Arnold (Whittaker)". Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b GRO Register of Births: SEP 1927 6d 1198a RUGBY – Arnold W. Wolfendale, mmn = Hoyle
  3. ^ a b 100 Years of Comic Rays: A Royal Society Lecture by Sir Arnold Wolfendale on YouTube
  4. ^ a b c d "Library and Archive Catalogue Wolfendale". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Profile: Prof. Sir Arnold Wolfendale FRS". Astronomy & Geophysics. 49 (4): 4.11. 2008. Bibcode:2008A&G....49d..11.. doi:10.1111/j.1468-4004.2008.49411.x.
  6. ^ "Prof Sir AW Wolfendale - Durham University". Durham University. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013.
  7. ^ Sloan, T.; Wolfendale, A. W. (2008). "Testing the proposed causal link between cosmic rays and cloud cover" (Full free text). Environmental Research Letters. 3 (2): 024001. arXiv:0803.2298. Bibcode:2008ERL.....3d4001S. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/3/2/024001.
  8. ^ Wibig, T.; Wolfendale, A. W. (2005). "At what particle energy do extragalactic cosmic rays start to predominate?". Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics. 31 (3): 255. arXiv:astro-ph/0410624. doi:10.1088/0954-3899/31/3/005.
  9. ^ Bhat, C. L.; Issa, M. R.; Houston, B. P.; Mayer, C. J.; Wolfendale, A. W. (1985). "Cosmic γ rays and the mass of gas in the Galaxy". Nature. 314 (6011): 511. Bibcode:1985Natur.314..511B. doi:10.1038/314511a0.
  10. ^ Arnold Wolfendale publications in Google Scholar
  11. ^ Arnold Wolfendale publications in
  12. ^ Arnold Wolfendale's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  13. ^ Myers, A. D.; Shanks, T.; Outram, P. J.; Frith, W. J.; Wolfendale, A. W. (2004). "Evidence for an extended Sunyaev--Zel'dovich effect in WMAP data". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 347 (4): L67. arXiv:astro-ph/0306180. Bibcode:2004MNRAS.347L..67M. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.07449.x.
  14. ^ Erlykin, A. D.; Wolfendale, A. W. (2006). "The anisotropy of galactic cosmic rays as a product of stochastic supernova explosions". Astroparticle Physics. 25 (3): 183. arXiv:astro-ph/0601290. Bibcode:2006APh....25..183E. doi:10.1016/j.astropartphys.2006.01.003.
  15. ^ Bhat, C. L.; Mayer, C. J.; Wolfendale, A. W. (1986). "A New Estimate of the Mass of Molecular Gas in the Galaxy and its Implications". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 319 (1547): 249. Bibcode:1986RSPTA.319..249B. doi:10.1098/rsta.1986.0099.
  16. ^ Prof Sir Arnold Wolfendale, Debretts Biography Archived 2 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Wolfendale, Arnold (1953). The nuclear interactions of mu-mesons (PhD thesis). University of Manchester.(subscription required)
  18. ^ Unwin, Bruce (9 September 2015). "Renowned academics tie knot at cathedral wedding". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 11 July 2017.

External links[edit]