Neil Tanner was a Physics Fellow at Hertford from 1960 to 1997. He was Tutor for Admissions from 1965, in which role he and other colleagues developed and pioneered the famous Hertford admissions initiative known now as the ‘Tanner Scheme’. In his academic life, Neil supervised an expanding group of students exploiting new ion beams and new detectors such as multigap spectrometers to explore the theory of the Giant Dipole Resonance and resonance fluctuations. During the 1960s his interest in pion physics brought him to the Synchro-Cyclotron accelerator at CERN.
Former students of Neil have paid tribute to his enthusiasm, encouragement and dedication.
Once at Hertford, my memories of Neil Tanner are of an enormous flamboyant presence. It was clear that he was a dedicated and talented scientist, but seemed to operate largely on the basis of an intuitive understanding of how physics worked. He taught me that the people, who make change happen, dive into things boldly. It was how he did science, it was how he did admissions, and it was how he lived his life. – Mike Shiels (Physics, 1983)