|Alma mater||Clare College, Cambridge|
|Awards||Holweck Prize (1978)
Rumford Medal (1980)
Guthrie Medal and Prize (2005)
|Institutions||University of Cambridge
University of Birmingham
|Thesis||The hydrodynamics of liquid helium II (1957)|
|Doctoral advisor||Donald Osborne
Vinen was born on 15 February 1930, the son of Gilbert Vinen and his wife Olive Maud Vinen, née Roach. After Watford Grammar School, he attended Clare College, Cambridge, completing a doctorate (PhD) in 1956. He was a Research Fellow there from 1955 to 1958, when he became a Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In 1962, he was appointed to a Chair of Physics at Birmingham University. He was appointed to the Poynting Chair in 1973. He served as Head of Department from 1973 until 1981, and retired from the University in 1997.
Awards and honours
|“||Distinguished for his contributions to low temperature physics. His experiments with H.E. Hall on attenuation of second sound in rotating liquid helium provided the first demonstration of the probably existence of vortex lines and later in an elegant experiment he gave the first direct proof that the circulation was quantized. His extensive studies of heat currents in liquid helium have led to a thorough understanding of mutual friction between the normal and superfluid components and of critical flow effects. At Birmingham he has continued to make important contributions not only to the liquid helium problem but also to the somewhat analogous one of flux flow and dissipation processes in type II superconductors. All his work is distinguished by an exceptionally profound analytical power in his approach both to experiment and theory.||”|
He was awarded the Rumford Medal in 1980 in "recognition of his discovery of the quantum of circulation in superfluid helium and his development of new techniques for precise measurements within liquid helium."
In 1960, Vinen married Susan-Mary Audrey Master; they have had one son and one daughter and live in Birmingham.
- "Condensed Matter Physics Who's Who: Professor W F Vinen". University of Birmingham. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Gough, C. E. (1999). "W F Vinen - a celebration". Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. 11 (40): 7669. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/11/40/001.
- "Vinen, William Frank, (Joe)", Who's Who (online edition, Oxford University Press, December 2017). Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- The Cambridge University Calendar For the Year 1973–74 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), p. 374.
- "William Vinen". London: Royal Society. One or more of the preceding sentences may incorporate text from the royalsociety.org website where "all text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." "Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 2017-07-10. Retrieved 2016-03-09. , "Intellectual property rights"
- "EC/1973/29: Vinen, William Frank". The Royal Society. Retrieved 16 July 2017.