RIP Sir Michael Atiyah

Rest in peace, Sir Michael Atiyah. Many scientists have called Atiyah the best mathematician in Britain since Isaac Newton.

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Source: New York Times

Michael Atiyah, a British mathematician who united mathematics and physics during the 1960s in a way not seen since the days of Isaac Newton, died on Friday. He was 89.

The Royal Society in London, of which he was president in the 1990s, confirmed the death but gave no details. Dr. Atiyah, who was retired, had been an honorary professor in the School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh.

Dr. Atiyah, who spent many years at Oxford and Cambridge universities, revealed an unforeseen connection between mathematics and physics through a theorem he proved in collaboration with Isadore Singer, one of the most important mathematicians of the last half of the 20th century.

His work with Dr. Singer, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led to the flowering of string theory and gauge theory as ways to understand the structure and dynamics of the universe, and has provided powerful tools for both mathematicians and theoretical physicists.

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