Friday, May 27, 2016

J.D. Jackson has passed

I feel terrible about this news. I had no idea Dave Jackson was living only a few miles away from me the past few years.
... J.D. Jackson, particle physicist and author of the graduate text Classical Electrodynamics, passed away on May 20, 2016 at the Burcham Hills retirement home in East Lansing. He had resided there for the last several years. His memorial service will be held in Berkeley, CA later this summer, ...
The picture below (taken by Josh Burton in 2013) shows three former Berkeley professors: J.D. Jackson, Geoff Chew, and Steven Weinberg.

When I entered graduate school at Berkeley I asked to place out of the required course in advanced electrodynamics, which was taught by Jackson using his famous book. I had lecture notes from the course I had taken at Caltech from Mark Wise, which also used the book. Jackson borrowed the notes for a few days, looked through them carefully, and returned to me a short list detailing topics in which my education had been deficient. I was to study those topics, but was excused from the course.

Although I never had Jackson as a teacher, one of the great experiences of graduate school was attending regular theory seminars and hearing the ideas and incisive commentary of brilliant professors like him.

See also Where men are men, and giants walk the earth.

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