Arthur Geoffrey Walker

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Arthur Geoffrey Walker
Born(1909-07-17)17 July 1909
Died31 March 2001(2001-03-31) (aged 91)
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford
Merton College, Oxford
University of Edinburgh
OccupationMathematician, math professor
Spouse(s)Phyllis Ashcroft Freeman (m. 1939)

Prof Arthur Geoffrey Walker FRS FRSE (17 July 1909 in Watford, Hertfordshire, England – 31 March 2001)[1][2] was a leading mathematician who made important contributions to physics and physical cosmology. Although he was an accomplished geometer, he is best remembered today for two important contributions to general relativity.

Together with H. P. Robertson, they devised the well-known Robertson-Walker unit for the Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker cosmological models, which are exact solutions of the Einstein field equation. Together with Enrico Fermi, he introduced the notion of Fermi–Walker differentiation.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Watford on 17 July 1909 the son of Arthur John Walker (b.1879), a coach builder, and his wife, Eleanor Joanna Gosling.[3]

Walker attended Watford Grammar School for Boys and won a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated with first class honours in Mathematics.[4] He then studied at Merton College, Oxford. He then went as a postgraduate to University of Edinburgh, studying under Prof Arthur Eddington and gaining his first doctorate (PhD).[4][5]

Academic career[edit]

Walker took up a post as Lecturer at Imperial College in 1935; the following year he was appointed as Lecturer in Pure Mathematics at the University of Liverpool, a post he held until 1947, when he moved to the University of Sheffield as Professor of Pure Mathematics.[2][4]

In 1946 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Harold Stanley Ruse, Sir Edmund Taylor Whittaker, David Gibb and William Edge. He won the Society's Keith Medal for the period 1947/49.[6]

In 1952 he returned to Liverpool University, in 1962 becoming Dean of its Faculty of Science.[4] Having been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1955, he served as a member of the organisation's council from 1961-2.[4] He served as President of the London Mathematical Society from 1962-3.[7] Walker retired from Liverpool University in 1974.[2]


  • Harmonic Spaces (1962)
  • An Introduction to Geometrical Cosmology (1975)

Awards and honours[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Walker married Phyllis Ashcroft Freeman in 1939;[4] the couple were accomplished ballroom dancers.[2] He died in Chichester on 31 March 2001, aged 91.[2][7]


  1. ^ Hitchin, N. J. (2006). "Arthur Geoffrey Walker. 17 July 1909 -- 31 March 2001: Elected FRS 1955". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 52: 413–421. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2006.0028.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Walker_Arthur summary". Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 232.
  5. ^ "A. G. Walker". The Times. 2001. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
  6. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  7. ^ a b c d "Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh" (PDF). Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Royal Society of Edinburgh. Awards to Professors". The Glasgow Herald. 2 May 1950. p. 3. Retrieved 1 May 2018.

External links[edit]

  • O'Connor, J J; Robertson, E F. "Arthur Geoffrey Walker". School of Mathematics and Statistics; University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  • "Arthur Geoffrey Walker". Mathematical Genealogy Project; North Dakota State University. Retrieved 17 January 2015.