Claud Lovelace

 

Claud Lovelace (16 January 1934 – 7 September 2012) was a theoretical physicist noted for his contributions to string theory, specifically, the idea that strings did not have to be restricted to the four dimensions of spacetime.
A study in 2009 ranked him as the 14th most influential physicist in the world for the period 1967–1973.
Lovelace did not complete his Ph.D., and in 1965 left Imperial College for a position with Daniele Amati at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), in Geneva, Switzerland. There, Lovelace began to investigate the role of hadrons in string theory. At the time, researchers were investigating two types of string interaction models: Reggeons (open-ended strings) and Pomerons (closed-loop strings). One of the prerequisites for these models to be credible required unitarity in the ordinary four dimensions of spacetime, which the Pomeron model could not show. Instead, the theory yielded strange (hypothetical) entities – named tachyons – that, among other characteristics, had to be able to travel backwards in time and be faster than light, both of which are violations of the ordinary four dimensions of spacetime.
Despite the earlier models that worked in more than four dimensions, at the time nobody took anything more than four dimensions too seriously. Lovelace did not think his discovery would be taken seriously either, but chose to publish it anyway. In 'Pomeron form factors and dual Regge cuts' (Physics Letters, B34, Issue 6, March 1971, pp. 500–506), he announced his 26th dimension observation towards the end of the seven page paper. Lovelace's observation changed the way that strings are thought about, and the existence of more than four dimensions is today generally accepted in modeling theory.
In September 1971, Lovelace moved to Piscataway, New Jersey, where he obtained a professorship at Rutgers University despite his lack of a Ph.D. He remained there for the rest of his life, grappling with the nuances of various versions of string theory. Claud Lovelace died of prostatic cancer in 2012. He left his estate to Rutgers University, which provides the endowed Lovelace Chair in Physics in his name.