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Emeritus Professor EB Davies FRS


Title: Emeritus Professor in Analysis and Fellow of the Royal Society.

Personal Website




E Brian Davies was awarded a first class degree in Mathematics at the University of Oxford in 1965 and a D Phil., also at Oxford, in 1968, when he was also awarded the Senior Mathematical Prize. After two years in the USA, at Princeton and MIT, he took up a permanent position as a Tutorial Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford. From 1973 he was a University Lecturer at the University of Oxford.

In 1981 Davies was appointed as Professor of Mathematics at King's College, London, where he remained until his official retirement in 2010. He was Head of Department between 1990 and 1993.

He was the founding Editor of the London Mathematical Society Student Texts between 1983 and 1990, and the founding Editor of the Journal of Spectral Theory, published by the European Mathematical Society, from 2010.

In March 1995 Davies was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in recognition of his seminal work in spectral theory and particularly on the heat kernels of diffusion equations, of great relevance in quantum theory and other fields. In June 1996 he was elected a Fellow of King's College, London. In June 1998 he was awarded the Senior Berwick Prize by the London Mathematical Society. He was President of the London Mathematical Society in 2008 and 2009.

As well as over two hundred research papers, Davies has published five monographs and two popular books on the philosophy of mathematics and science.

Research Interests

  • Most aspects of spectral theory
  • Non-self-adjoint operators
  • Operator theory/functional analysis
  • Elliptic partial differential operators
  • Schrodinger operators/quantum theory
  • Philosophy of science

Selection of Publications

  • "Why Beliefs Matter" (Oxford University Press, July 2010)
  • "Linear Operators and Their Spectra"(published April 2007)
  • "Science in the Looking Glass"(paperback version appeared in Summer 2007)
  • "Mathematics Online"
  • For research papers in mathematics and the philosophy of science please go to my personal web site
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