Anthony French

Anthony Philip French (November 19, 1920 – February 3, 2017) was a British professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was born in Brighton, England. French was a graduate of Cambridge University, receiving his B.A. in 1942 and Ph.D. in 1948, both in physics. In 1942, he began working on the British effort to build an atomic bomb (codenamed Tube Alloys) at the Cavendish Laboratory. By 1944, Tube Alloys had been merged with the American Manhattan Project and he was sent to Los Alamos.

Anthony Philip French
Born(1920-11-19)November 19, 1920[1]
DiedFebruary 3, 2017(2017-02-03) (aged 96)
Alma materCambridge
AwardsOersted Medal (1989)
Scientific career
FieldsNuclear Physics
Physics Education
InstitutionsManhattan Project
South Carolina

When the war ended, he returned to the United Kingdom, where he spent a couple of years at the newly formed Atomic Energy Research Establishment. He later joined the faculty at Cambridge, where he conducted his research at Cavendish and became a Fellow and Director of Studies in Natural Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In 1955, French arrived at the University of South Carolina, where he was made chairman of the physics department. He left South Carolina in 1962 to take a faculty position in the MIT Physics Department, where he remained until his death. French's main interest was undergraduate physics education. He was chairman of the Commission on Physics Education of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (1975-1981) and president of the American Association of Physics Teachers (1985-1986). He was also a Fellow of the American Physical Society.


  • A.P. French, ed. (1988). Physics in a Technological World: XIX General Assembly, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. American Institute of Physics.
  • A. P. French, ed. (1979). Einstein: A centenary volume. Heinemann for the International Commission on Physics Education.
  • French, A.P. (1971). Newtonian Mechanics. MIT Introductory Physics Series. W.W. Norton & Company.
  • French, A.P. (1958). Principles of Modern Physics. John Wiley.

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ Supplement to Who's who in America - Google Books. 1987. ISBN 9780837971001. Retrieved 2011-12-14.
  2. ^ [1] Archived December 14, 2005, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit