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College of Arts & Sciences
Physics and Astronomy


In Memory of Dr. Anthony P. French

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is deeply saddened to announce that former professor and chairman of our department, Anthony Philip French, passed away on February 3, 2017. He was at Carolina from 1955 to 1961. In this relatively short period of six years, Dr. French transformed this department and was instrumental in getting a Van de Graaff accelerator, the Neutron Generator Building and funding for the Jones Physical Science Center. Dr. French also recruited faculty including Professor Ronald Edge from Cambridge, U.K. Dr. Edge, who has since retired, but still resides in Columbia, helped build up our nuclear physics program using the accelerator. Dr. French, also a prominent figure in educational innovations, and his first textbook, Principles of Modern Physics, written while in this department, was published in 1958. In 1961, Dr. French was recruited away from Carolina by MIT, where he led efforts to introduce advanced methods to teach modern physics at the college and university levels. Since leaving USC, Dr. French re-visited us several times, and those of us who were fortunate to meet him during these visits will deeply miss his camaraderie.

His obituary is available at the Physics Today website. (LINK HERE).