Michael S. Longuet-Higgins

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Michael Selwyn Longuet-Higgins
Born 1925
Lenham, England
Fields Mathematics
Institutions University of California, San Diego
Alma mater Cambridge University

Michael Selwyn Longuet-Higgins FRS (born 1925) is a mathematician and oceanographer at Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California, San Diego. He is the younger brother of H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins.

Longuet-Higgins introduced the theory of the origin of microseisms[1] and is the inventor of Rhombo blocks.[2]

Education and career[edit]

Longuet-Higgins studied at Winchester College with Freeman Dyson from 1937 to 1941. He graduated in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1946, with a Ph.D. in geophysics in 1951. From 1969 to 1989 he served as a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Cambridge.

His research areas include both pure mathematics (projective geometry, polytopes, random functions and surfaces) and applied mathematics (fluid dynamics, microseisms, the generation of ocean waves by wind, the dynamics of bubbles, sonoluminescence, wave breaking, and steep waves).


His recreations include music, gardening, and educational toys: in 1953 he wrote a scientific paper on the properties of the Slinky.[3] He is widowed, with four children.


  • Longuet-Higgins, M. S. (2013). Sajjadi, S. G., ed. Dynamics of Water Waves – Selected Papers of Michael Longuet-Higgins. Advanced Series on Ocean Engineering 35. World Scientific. 3 Volumes, 2372 pp. ISBN 978-981-4322-51-5. 



  1. ^ Longuet-Higgins, M. S. (1950). "A theory of the origin of microseisms". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 243: 1–35. Bibcode:1950RSPTA.243....1L. doi:10.1098/rsta.1950.0012. 
  2. ^ "Rhombo blocks on my pentagonal coffee table". Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  3. ^ Longuet-Higgins, Michael. "On Slinky: the dynamics of a loose, heavy spring" (PDF). Retrieved 13 August 2015.