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The legendary inventiveness of physicist Freeman Dyson (1923-2020)

Dyson’s brilliance shone through in his formal work and his grand speculations

By Philip Ball  

When the physicist Freeman Dyson died on 28th February, it suddenly seemed that everyone had a Dyson story to tell. That alone was a testament to both the extraordinary vigour he showed well into his ninth decade, and to his passion for intellectual engagement. My own Dyson story doesn’t reveal any great insight into his mind or character, but it certainly showcases those two attributes of vitality and curiosity. For he was in his 80s when I met him at a conference on synthetic…

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