Royal Society Publishing

George Keith Batchelor. 8 March 1920 – 30 March 2000

H.K. Moffatt

Abstract

George Batchelor was a pioneering figure in two branches of fluid dynamics: turbulence, in which he became a world leader over the 15 years from 1945 to 1960; and suspension mechanics (or ‘microhydrodynamics’), which developed under his initial impetus and continuing guidance throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He also exerted great influence in establishing a universally admired standard of publication in fluid dynamics through his role as founder Editor of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, the leading journal of the subject, which he edited continuously over four decades. His famous textbook, An introduction to fluid dynamics, first published in 1967, showed the hand of a great master of the subject. Together with D. Küchemann, F.R.S., he established in 1964 the European Mechanics Committee (forerunner of the present European Society for Mechanics), which over the 24-year period of his chairmanship supervised the organization of no fewer than 230 European Mechanics Colloquia spanning the whole field of fluid and solid mechanics; while within Cambridge, where he was a Fellow of Trinity College and successively Lecturer, Reader and Professor of Applied Mathematics, he was an extraordinarily effective Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics from its foundation in 1959 until his retirement in 1983.