Steven Weinberg, physics giant, 88
(too old to reply)
J.D. Baldwin
2021-07-25 11:06:32 UTC

On lists of the greats of his era he was always mentioned along
with Richard Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann and … well, just Feynman
and Gell-Mann.

I don't know that's true in a broad sense. I'd say that 80% of lay
people enthusiastic enough about science to know the names Feynman and
Gell-Mann didn't know who the hell Weinberg was or what he did. That
said, some of us were introduced to more advanced physics concepts by
his book, "The First Three Minutes."

But of course professional physicists thought of Weinberg as a leg of
that trinity.

I have to name-drop a bit here and mention that I met the man once in
1980, a bit under a year after he won his Nobel Prize. I was living
in Newport and went with a student group to Boston College to hear him
speak. We were in a surprisingly small room, which wasn't even
filled. His general topic was symmetry.

At the time, I expected my undergraduate major to be physics, and I
went up to him after the talk and introduced myself and asked for
general advice. He was most generous with his time and he spoke to me
at my level without talking down to me. I walked away deeply
impressed. (In the end, I decided to go one level deeper and major in
math rather than physics.)

This is the biggest science death of 2021 so far, and will remain
inarguably so unless Knuth and/or Edward O. Wilson should snuff it
before Dec. 31. (IF that happens, this will still be the biggest,
just no longer "inarguably" so.)
_+_ From the catapult of |If anyone objects to any statement I make, I am
_|70|___:)=}- J.D. Baldwin |quite prepared not only to retract it, but also
\ / ***@panix.com|to deny under oath that I ever made it.-T. Lehrer
2021-07-26 05:59:40 UTC
This fellow was remarkable, and quite listenable whilst bottom-lining complex ideas on nerd TV shows or, nowadays, YouTube.

And be sure to check out what the late atheist Weinberg said about religion in general if not faith in particular in his Wiki entry.

Wish EVERYBODY could, say, instantly explain the profound differences between a neutron and a neutrino; such minimal command of the intensely small realm would not merely render physics less theoretical and more visual. It would also but just as vastly sharpen folks' faculty for understanding fractious societal issues in this comparatively-gargantuan world up here, problems which are sometimes nearly as complex.