Royal Society Publishing

Alfred Gordon Gaydon. 26 September 1911 – 16 April 2004

F. J. Weinberg

Elected F.R.S. 1953


Obstacles that would discourage lesser men occasionally seem to challenge some to pinnacles of achievement in what may seem to be antithetical fields of endeavour. Dick Gaydon, as he was known to all his friends, was handicapped early in his career by the loss of one eye and the eye lens in the other, yet distinguished himself as an outstanding experimental spectroscopist studying flames and shock waves, as a writer of half a dozen acclaimed texts in these fields, and as a photographer of butterflies and birds. During much of his long and productive life he held the Warren Fellowship of the Royal Society and the Chair of Molecular Spectroscopy in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology of Imperial College, London, before devoting himself to nature study after his retirement.