Graduate Profile
Professor Frank Close

Prof Frank Close, BSc 1967

Frank Close is a professor of physics and fellow at Exeter College, Oxford, where his research interests are in the quark structure of matter.  His theoretical studies are centred on elementary particle physics, and in particular on what glues quarks together inside nucleons.

After gaining his first degree at St Andrews he moved to the University of Oxford to undertake his doctoral studies with Richard Dalitz.  He then did postdoctoral research at Stanford, before moving to CERN.  In 1975 he moved to the Rutherford Appleton Lab in Oxfordshire, where he worked for 25 years, latterly as the head of their theoretical physics division.  He came to his current position in Oxford University at the turn of the century.

As well as being one of the country's most eminent theoretical physicists, he is a committed teacher and science communicator.  In 1993 he gave the Royal Institution Christmas lectures titled "The Cosmic Onion" and also wrote a popular book by the same name.   His enthusiastic and exciting presentations of physics in this and other science outreach work led to him being awarded the Kelvin medal of the Institute of Physics in 1996.  He also headed CERN's communication and public education activities from 1997-2000.

In a profile published in the Guardian in June 2004, Professor Close is described as delighted at the mysteries surrounding the discovery of the Theta particle, and whether or not it is really there -  "Close likes his science to come with a sense of mystery and wonder, and the possibility that the pentaquark theta may be a chimera is right up his street".

Frank Close's web page at Oxford.
Particle Theory Research at Oxford

First posted BDS 17.6.04