Specialist in theoretical physics who investigated the structure of matter

On Roger Elliott’s 60th birthday, a conference in his honour displayed beneath his photograph the title: “Disorder in Condensed Matter Physics”. This reference to his speciality in theoretical physics, where he made important contributions to theories of optical, magnetic and semiconductor properties of the solid state, was ironic, for Elliott, who has died aged 89, was a man of the soundest judgment.

His opinion was widely sought and highly regarded, as professor at Oxford University (1974-96), as chief executive of Oxford University Press (1988-93), and in national affairs, as physical secretary and vice-president of the Royal Society (1984-88) and vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (1990-93).

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