Andrew Keller

Andrew Keller, FRS
Andras Keller

(1925-08-22)22 August 1925
Died7 February 1999(1999-02-07) (aged 73)
CitizenshipNaturalized British
Alma mater
Known forCrystallization of polymers
Spouse(s)Eva Bulhack
ChildrenPeter and Nicola
AwardsSee list
Scientific career
FieldsPolymer physics

Andras (Andrew) Keller FRS[1][2] (22 August 1925 – 7 February 1999) was a naturalized British polymer scientist. He was Research Professor in Polymer Science, Department of Physics, University of Bristol, 1969–91, then Professor Emeritus.


Andras Keller was born in Budapest, the only child of Jewish parents. He entered the University of Budapest in 1943, and gained his BSc in chemistry cum laude in 1947. He began his PhD studies at the same university but his work was interrupted by the rapidly deteriorating political situation in Hungary in 1948. He fled to England, leaving behind a submitted but unexamined PhD thesis.[1][3]

He took a position with Imperial Chemical Industries in Manchester, as technical officer in the Polymers Division, where he was given the task of working out how the physical structure of polymers affects crystallization. In 1955, he moved to the University of Bristol Physics Department as Research Assistant, under Charles Frank, heading a team financed by the Ministry of Supply (later Ministry of Aviation). Here, he began to further develop his ideas on crystallisation, and obtained his PhD in 1958.[1] Meanwhile, Keller had become a naturalized citizen of the UK in 1954[4] or 1955.[5]

A key part of his work at Bristol was his discovery in 1957 of chain folding in polymer crystals.[6] The findings were not universally accepted however, and there was much debate between opposing camps for many years to come. It came to a head at a Faraday Discussion in Cambridge in 1979.[7] It was an important meeting because “The arguments thereafter moved from whether one believed in regular chain folding, or in no chain folding at all, to issues of the degree of regularity of the folding under the specific conditions of solidification of a particular material.”[1]

Keller retired in 1991. The occasion was marked by a conference that year on polymer physics at Bristol.[8]


Keller met Eva Bulhack, a fellow Rumanian, in England. They married in 1951, and had two children: Peter and Nicola.

Andrew Keller died of a heart attack on 7 February 1999 while on a skiing holiday in Switzerland.[5]

Honours and awards


  1. ^ a b c d Windle, A. (2001). "Andrew Keller. 22 August 1925 - 7 February 1999: Elected F.R.S. 1972". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 47: 293. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2001.0017. S2CID 70950680.
  2. ^ Hoffman, John D (29 March 1999). "Obituary: Professor Andrew Keller". The Independent.
  3. ^ Windle, A F (2000). "Obituary: Andrew Keller FRS 1925-1999". Journal of Materials Science. 35 (20): 5017. doi:10.1023/A:1004867312192. S2CID 135663513.
  4. ^ Hoffman, John D (29 March 1999). "Obituary: Professor Andrew Keller". The Independent.
  5. ^ a b Barham, Peter; Odel, Jeff (13 May 1999). "Andrew Keller: A pioneer of polymer physics". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Keller, A (September 1957). "A note on single crystals in polymers: Evidence for a folded chain configuration". Philosophical Magazine. 2 (21): 1171–1175. doi:10.1080/14786435708242746.
  7. ^ Young, D A, ed. (1979). "Crystalline polymers; an introduction". Faraday Discussions of the Royal Society of Chemistry. London: Royal Society of Chemistry. 68: 145. doi:10.1039/dc9796800145.
  8. ^ "Catalogue description: Conference on Polymer Physics to mark the Retirement of Andrew Keller FRS, Bristol, 3-5 April 1991". The National Archives. Retrieved 31 October 2020.

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