Hermann Bondi, a giant in the fields of astrophysics and cosmology, died on September 10th. He was best known as one of the co-authors (with Fred Hoyle and Tommy Gold, who passed away in 2001 and 2004, respectively) of the Steady-State model of the universe. Whatever you think of Steady State now, we must credit it (and its authors) for helping launch the modern era of precise cosmological debate – construction of models and confronting them with precise data. For a long while, it simply was not clear which model (Steady-State or Big Bang) better fit the data, and the arguments over this matter firmly matured cosmology as a field. The physics of this issue is truly exciting, and I recommend (as I have before on this blog) Simon Singh’s excellent book “Big Bang” for a great piece of writing on the subject.
For the Guardian’s obituary of Hermann Bondi, written by Andrew Tucker and appearing in print Tuesday, see either the digital edition, or the regular website version. There was an obituary today in the Independent, and it can be found here.