David Olive
David Olive  

Born  Middlesex, England^{[2]}  16 April 1937^{[1]}
Died  7 November 2012 Cambridge, England  (aged 75)^{[3]}
Nationality  British 
Alma mater 

Known for  
Spouse(s)  Jenny Olive (m. 1963) ^{[2]} 
Children  2^{[2]} 
Awards  Dirac Medal^{[4]} 
Scientific career  
Fields  Theoretical physics 
Institutions  University of Cambridge Carnegie Institute of Technology CERN Imperial College London University of Swansea 
Thesis  Unitarity and Smatrix theory (1963) 
Doctoral advisor  John Clayton Taylor^{[5]} 
Doctoral students  Neil Turok^{[5]} Edward Corrigan^{[5]} Andrew Crumey^{[5]} 
David Ian Olive CBE FRS FLSW (/ˈɒlɪv/ (listen); 16 April 1937 – 7 November 2012) was a British theoretical physicist. Olive made fundamental contributions to string theory and duality theory, he is particularly known for his work on the GSO projection and Montonen–Olive duality.
He was Professor of physics at Imperial College, London from 1984 to 1992.^{[6]} In 1992 he moved to Swansea University to help set up the new theoretical physics group.^{[2]}
He was awarded the Dirac Prize and Medal of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in 1997.^{[4]} He was a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.^{[2]} He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1987, and appointed CBE in 2002.^{[6]}
Contents
Biography[edit]
Early life and education[edit]
David Olive was born in Middlesex in 1937^{[1]} and educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh and Edinburgh University. He then moved to St John's College, Cambridge, obtaining his PhD under the supervision of John Taylor in 1963.^{[2]}
Career[edit]
After a short postdoctoral appointment at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Olive returned to Cambridge as a Fellow of Churchill College, becoming a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) in 1965. Here he made key contributions to the approach to particle physics known as Smatrix theory. His 1966 book The Analytic Smatrix coauthored with Richard Eden, Peter Landshoff and John Polkinghorne, remains a definitive text on the subject and is known as ELOP.^{[2]}
In 1971, Olive made what he has described as a "momentous personal decision" to sacrifice his tenured position in Cambridge and move to the Theory Division, CERN as a fixedterm staff member. He was part of a team assembled by Daniele Amati to work on the theory originally known as the dual resonance model but shortly to be recognised as string theory. In CERN, Olive began the collaborations with the circle of string theorists many of whom feature in his memoir From Dual Fermion to Superstring. His work at CERN, in part in collaboration with Lars Brink and Ed Corrigan, initially focused on the consistent formulation of dual fermion amplitudes, generalising the existing bosonic models. This period saw several of Olive's major contributions to string theory, including the GliozziScherkOlive (GSO) projection which elucidated the role of spacetime supersymmetry in ensuring consistency of the dual fermion model and was to prove an essential step in establishing 10dimensional superstring theory. He was one of the first to become convinced of the conceptual revolution whereby string theory is viewed as a unified theory of all particle interactions, including gravity, rather than simply as a model of hadrons. This was the subject of his plenary talk at the 1974 Rochester conference in London.^{[2]}
In 1977, Olive returned to the UK to take up a lectureship at Imperial College, becoming Professor in 1984 and Head of the Theoretical Physics Group in 1988. He had by now begun collaboration with Peter Goddard and together they produced a series of papers on the mathematical foundations of string theory, notably on Virasoro and KacMoody algebras and their representations and relation to vertex operators. One outcome of their work on algebras and lattices was the identification of the special role played by the two Lie groups SO(32) and E8 x E8, which would shortly be shown by Michael Green and John Schwarz to exhibit anomaly cancellation that led to the renaissance of string theory in 1984.^{[2]}
This body of work from 1973 to 1983 was recognised with the award of the prestigious Dirac Medal in 1997 to Goddard and Olive "in recognition of their farsighted and highly influential contributions to theoretical physics. They have contributed many crucial insights that shaped our emerging understanding of string theory and have also had a farreaching impact on our understanding of 4dimensional field theory.” The Dirac Medal also recognised a second major line of research pioneered by Olive, on duality symmetries in gauge field theories, this work was to play a key role in later developments of Mtheory. While still at CERN, Olive had begun to study the magnetic monopoles which 't Hooft and Polyakov had shown existed in nonabelian gauge theories, publishing a paper with Peter Goddard and Jean Nuyts.^{[7]} In 1977, together with Claus Montonen, he made the remarkable conjecture that there should exist an electromagnetic dual theory in which the roles of monopoles and gauge bosons are interchanged. In subsequent work with Ed Witten, Olive showed that this duality is realised in a certain class of supersymmetric theories.^{[8]} This MontonenOlive duality was later found to emerge from a deeper web of dualities underlying Mtheory, ushering in the second superstring revolution of the mid 1990s.^{[2]}
In 1992, Olive left Imperial to take up a research professorship in mathematics and physics at Swansea University, where together with Ian Halliday he built the theoretical particle physics group. He continued to work on mathematical physics, exploring the deep symmetries underlying quantum field theories, especially affine Toda theory. His retirement was marked by a conference "Strings, Gauge Fields and Duality" held in his honour in Swansea in 2004.^{[9]}^{[2]} He presented the Dirac Lecture at DAMTP on 14 June 2004 titled The Eternal Magnetic Monopole.
Selected publications[edit]
Books[edit]
 Eden, R. J.; Landshoff, P. V.; Olive, D. I.; Polkinghorne, J. C. (1966). The Analytic SMatrix (2002 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521048699. LCCN 66013387. OCLC 49737553.
 Olive, D.; West, P. C. (8 July 1999). Duality and Supersymmetric Theories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521641586. LCCN 99018753. OCLC 40762790.
 Olive, D. (12 April 2012). "From Dual Fermion to Superstring". In Cappelli, Andrea; Castellani, Elena; Colomo, Filippo; Di Vecchia, Paolo (eds.). The Birth of String Theory. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521197908. LCCN 2011052388. OCLC 939628805.
 Pais, A.; Jacob, M.; Olive, D. I.; Atiyah, M. F. (1998). Goddard, P. (ed.). Paul Dirac: The Man and His Work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521583829. LCCN 97022443. OCLC 833170188.
Academic papers[edit]
 Goddard, P.; Nuyts, J.; Olive, D. (1977). "Gauge theories and magnetic charge" (PDF). Nuclear Physics B. 125 (1): 1–28. Bibcode:1977NuPhB.125....1G. doi:10.1016/05503213(77)902218. ISSN 05503213.
 Gliozzi, F.; Scherk, J.; Olive, D. (1977). "Supersymmetry, supergravity theories and the dual spinor model" (PDF). Nuclear Physics B. 122 (2): 253–290. Bibcode:1977NuPhB.122..253G. doi:10.1016/05503213(77)902061. ISSN 05503213.
 Montonen, C.; Olive, D. (1977). "Magnetic monopoles as gauge particles?" (PDF). Physics Letters B. 72 (1): 117–120. Bibcode:1977PhLB...72..117M. doi:10.1016/03702693(77)900764. ISSN 03702693.
 Witten, E.; Olive, D. (1978). "Supersymmetry algebras that include topological charges". Physics Letters B. 78 (1): 97–101. Bibcode:1978PhLB...78...97W. doi:10.1016/03702693(78)90357X. ISSN 03702693.
See also[edit]
References[edit]
Citations[edit]
Sources[edit]
 Swansea University (2012). "Professor David Olive Obituary". swansea.ac.uk. Swansea: Swansea University. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017.
 "Prof David Olive, CBE, FRS". Debretts. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter
deadurl=
(help)  "David Ian Olive Obituary". The Times. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
 "Professor David Olive. The Times. p54. 19 Dec 2012".
 International Centre for Theoretical Physics. "Dirac Medallists 1997". ictp.it. ICTP. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017.
 "David Ian Olive". Mathematics Genealogy Project. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017.
 "Strings, Gauge Fields and Duality". pyweb.swan.ac.uk. Swansea University. 2004. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012.
External links[edit]
 "Olive, David Ian". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/105903.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
 Scientific publications of David Olive on INSPIREHEP
 1937 births
 2012 deaths
 British physicists
 Academics of Imperial College London
 Academics of Swansea University
 Alumni of St John's College, Cambridge
 Fellows of Churchill College, Cambridge
 Cambridge mathematicians
 People educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh
 String theorists
 Theoretical physicists
 Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
 People associated with CERN
 Fellows of the Royal Society
 Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales