John Clive Ward

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John Clive Ward (1 August 19246 May 2000) was a British-Australian theoretical physicist known for his contributions to particle physics and renormalization theory.


  • ... was my first lesson in quantum mechanics, and in a very real sense my last, since the rest is mere technique, which can be learnt from books.
    • J. C. Ward, Memoirs of a Theoretical Physicist (Optics Journal, Rochester, 2004).
  • The inner mysteries of quantum mechanics require a willingness to extend one’s mental processes into a strange world of phantom possibilities, endlessly branching into more and more abstruse chains of coupled logical networks, endlessly extending themselves forward and even backwards in time.
    • J. C. Ward, Memoirs of a Theoretical Physicist (Optics Journal, Rochester, 2004).
  • One day I had the idea of radiation implosion. As in all ideas that have ever popped up in my head, there is no way I can trace the source.
    • J. C. Ward, Memoirs of a Theoretical Physicist (Optics Journal, Rochester, 2004).
  • Dynamical variables are what count in physics, not coordinate or gauge transformations.
    • J. C. Ward, Memoirs of a Theoretical Physicist (Optics Journal, Rochester, 2004).
  • Almost all the serious achievements are simple in principle... the ideas must be sufficiently simple.

Quotes about Ward[edit]

  • One of Ward's few close friends at Macquarie is... Frank Duarte... the two make an odd couple - the restrained rather distant Englishman and the intense, earnest South American.
    • G. Sheridan, Australian physicist wins Guthrie Medal, The Bulletin 101 (5239), 49-50 (1980).
  • Ward was vocal in his denunciation of the trivia that filled up Senate agendas… suitably then, it was a close student associate of Ward’s, physics Ph. D. student Frank Duarte, who began to mobilize student opinion in favor of a change.
    • B. Mansfield and M. Hutchinson, Liberality of Opportunity: A History of Macquarie University 1964-1989 (Hale and Iremonger, Sydney, 1992) p. 269
  • ... he has drawn attention to fundamental truths, and has laid down basic principles, which physicists have followed ... often without knowing it, and generally without quoting him.
    • Postmaster and The Merton Record October 1995, 89-90 (1995).
  • By the end of 1955, Ward had independently conceived a two stage device, the radiation from the first (fission) stage being used to compress the light elements of the second stage...
  • In the early 1960s with Salam, Ward laid the groundwork for today's "standard model" of elementary particles.
  • Yet the Ward Identity has a much more fundamental significance: it ensures the universality of the electromagnetic interaction.
    • W. Greiner and J, Reinhardt, Quantum Electrodynamics, 4th Ed. (Springer, Berlin, 2009).
  • Ward Identities lie at the very foundations of renormalization.
  • In the same style as Dirac, who wrote: “the interpretation of quantum mechanics has been dealt with by many authors, and I do not want to discuss it here. I want to deal with more fundamental things”, Ward was not interested on issues of interpretation... According to Shakarov, Ward was one of the “titans” of quantum electrodynamics alongside Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga. Thus, his non interest on issues of interpretation should not be dismissed lightly.
    • F. J. Duarte, The origin of quantum entanglement experiments based on polarization, Euro. Phys. J. H 37, 311-318 (2012).

External links[edit]

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