G. O. Jones

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The Independent Online

I was on the staff of Queen Mary College in the 1950s and vividly remember meetings of the Academic Board - normally very boring occasions - which were much enlivened by the presence of Professor G. O. Jones, writes Professor Ernst Sondheimer [further to the obituary by Professor Derek Martin and Meic Stephens, 14 July]. As a distinguished physicist, who was also a novelist, connoisseur of the arts and, I believe, also an accomplished musician, he delighted in teasing members of the Arts Faculty, in an entirely light-hearted and non-malicious way, with their ignorance of science. He also had heroic disputes with the rather assertive professor of chemistry. I was not surprised to hear that he eventually grew tired of the stifling confines of the academic community.

As a research student in the Leeds University low-temperature group in the 1950s, writes D. W. Budworth, I visited G. O. Jones's laboratory, and was particularly struck by one example of his ability to make progress with the very little expenditure which Derek Martin mentions in his obituary. The essential gas compressor was based on a discarded V-twin motorcycle engine.

G. O. Jones was a gifted amateur violinist, writes Jean Davies. In London he played trios with Owen Davies (piano), a member of his own department, and Roy Jones (flute), Professor of Spanish at King's College. In Oxford in retirement he played in amateur orchestras but also organised regular days of music at home.