F. D. C. Willard - Wikipedia

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2022-06-23 08:30:03

F. D. C. Willard (ca. 1968–1982) was the pen name of a Siamese cat named Chester, who internationally published under this name on physics in scientific journals, once as a co-author and another time as the sole author.

The American physicist and mathematician Jack H. Hetherington, of Michigan State University, in 1975 wanted to publish some of his research results in the field of low-temperature physics in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters. A colleague, to whom he had given his paper for review, pointed out that Hetherington had used the first person plural in his text, and that the journal would reject this form on submissions with a sole author. Rather than take the time to retype the article to use the singular form, or to bring in a co-author, Hetherington decided to invent one.[1]

Hetherington had a Siamese cat named Chester, who had been sired by a Siamese named Willard. Fearing that colleagues might recognize his pet's name, he thought it better to use the pet's initial. Aware that most Americans have at least two given names, he invented two more given names based on the scientific name for a house cat, Felis domesticus, and abbreviated them accordingly as F. D. C. His article, entitled "Two-, Three-, and Four-Atom Exchange Effects in bcc ³He" and written by J. H. Hetherington and F. D. C. Willard, was accepted by the Physical Review and published in number 35 (November 1975).[2][3]

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