Oliver Penrose

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Oliver Penrose
Born (1929-06-06) 6 June 1929 (age 93)
Alma materUniversity College, London
King's College, Cambridge
Known forBose–Einstein condensation in liquid helium
direction of time
kinetics of phase transitions
foundations of statistical mechanics
Scientific career
InstitutionsImperial College, London
Open University
Heriot-Watt University
Doctoral advisorH N V Temperley
He is the brother of Roger Penrose, Jonathan Penrose, and Shirley Hodgson, and son of Lionel Penrose, and grandson of J. Doyle Penrose and John Beresford Leathes. He is the nephew of Roland Penrose and cousin of Antony Penrose.

Oliver Penrose FRS FRSE (born 6 June 1929) is a British theoretical physicist.[1]

He is the son of the scientist Lionel Penrose and brother of the mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, chess Grandmaster Jonathan Penrose, and geneticist Shirley Hodgson.[2][3] He was associated with the Open University for seventeen years and was a Professor of Mathematics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh from 1986 until his retirement in 1994. He holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Heriot-Watt, and remains active in research there. His areas of interest include statistical mechanics,[4] phase transitions in metals and the physical chemistry of surfactants. His concept of off-diagonal long-range order is central to the present understanding of superfluids and superconductors. Other more abstract topics in which he has worked include understanding the physical basis for the direction of time and interpretations of quantum mechanics.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Notes", The rainbow and the worm: the physics of organisms by Mae-Wan Ho, World Scientific, 1998, Pg. 77
  2. ^ Image processing III: mathematical methods, algorithms and applications by Jonathan M. Blackledge and Martin J. Turner, Horwood Publishing, 2001, Pg. 2
  3. ^ "The Mandelbrot Set", Why Beliefs Matter: Reflections on the Nature of Science by E. Brian Davies, Oxford University Press, 2010, Pg. 119, ISBN 0191591564
  4. ^ "Papers dedicated to Oliver Penrose on the occasion of his 65th birthday", Volume 77, Issues 1–2 of Journal of Statistical Physics
  5. ^ "Quantum Mechanics and Real Events", Quantum chaos—quantum measurement by Predrag Cvitanović, Ian Percival, Andreas Wirzba and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Scientific Affairs Division, Springer, 1992, Pg. 257
  6. ^ "The physical review—the first hundred years:" a selection of seminal papers and commentaries, Volume 1 by H. Henry Stroke, Springer, 1995

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