Bob Reid obituary


My buddy Bob Reid, who has died aged 92, was a cosmic ray physicist who studied these mysterious particles in Jamaica, on the moors of North Yorkshire and on the South Pole.

Bob additionally had a fascination with boomerangs and was a member of the British Boomerang Society. In December 1988, whereas looking for cosmic rays from Supernova 1987A, he threw one across the South Pole, which technically stayed aloft for twenty-four hours and 9 seconds because it travelled via 24 time zones.

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Bob Reid’s circumpolar boomerang throw, on the South Pole in 1988

Bob was dedicated to his college students and to the College of Leeds, the place he was appointed as a lecturer in 1962 and a senior lecturer in 1970. He remained, giving lectures totally on mechanics and statistics, till his early retirement in 1991. He was a pure with college students and served as a warden of Bodington Corridor pupil residence (1966-68), and as an adviser to abroad college students (1968-75). After retirement, he took an extramural course in geology on the College of Leeds and the Open College and used his new data to work on a leaflet describing the geological options of Roundhay Park.

Bob was born in Loughbrickland in County Down, Northern Eire, to Gladys (nee Phillips), a linguist, and the RevThomas Reid, a Presbyterian minister. He went to Banbridge academy, the place he excelled at rugby and science, and studied physics at Queens College, Belfast, adopted by an additional 12 months of electronics on the College of Southampton. He then labored for 3 years as {an electrical} engineer for Vickers-Armstrongs in Weybridge, Surrey. Throughout this time he performed a season for London Irish rugby staff.

In 1956 he signed up for a postgraduate scholarship in cosmic radiation on the Dublin Institute of Superior Research. That work took him to the College of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, the place he co-founded the Jamaican rugby staff. He met Dr Noreen Evans when she handled him for an contaminated boil on the College hospital in 1957. In 1958-59 they went to Northern Eire so Bob might full writing up his analysis, received married, and returned to Jamaica till 1962.

Bob influenced the careers of many individuals, together with my very own. He and I met in 1964 once I went to Leeds for a job interview. He took me to go to Haverah Park, the moorland web site close to Harrogate the place high-energy cosmic rays have been studied, driving there in his Sprite with the highest down.

Noreen died in 2018. Bob is survived by his two daughters and two grandchildren.


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