A tribute to the physicist Nicholas Kurti (1908‒1998)

Nicholas Kurti was elected a Fellow of Brasenose in 1947. Born and educated in Budapest, and then at Paris and Berlin, Kurti arrived in Oxford in 1933 to work at the Clarendon Laboratory. In 1956 he became famous for an experiment, which reached a temperature of one microkelvin. He went on to demonstrate the experiment for Tomorrow’s World in 1960. A Fellow of the Royal Society and Professor of Physics at Oxford University (1967-1975), he was an enthusiastic cook, well-known for a talk given in 1969 entitled The physicist in the kitchen. He is considered to be one of the founders of molecular gastronomy, a term now associated with several modern-day chefs.

His archive is held by the Bodleian Library.

Recently, scientists and chefs paid tribute to Kurti on the first day of the Science & Cooking World Congress Barcelona 2019. For more information about the event, and a tribute to Kurti’s work please read this piece by Professor Màrius Rubiralta, Director of the Food and Nutrition Campus of the University of Barcelona.

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