Kenneth Wilson died from complications of lymphoma (a blood cancer) in Saco, Maine (where he and his wife were previously brought due to their love for kayaking) on Saturday, aged 77 years and 1 week. He received his Nobel Prize in 1982. His adviser was Murray Gell-Mann and students included Jackiw, Shenker, Peskin, and Ginsparg.
See also: WSJ, WaPo, Yahoo, NECN, Newsday, Google News, Physics World, Cornell, Press Herald, John Preskill, Clifford Johnson, a ShmoitMore importantly, he taught us about the concepts of effective field theories and the renormalization group that have explained why the renormalization works – and many other things. Many folks – a set that includes my PhD ex-adviser Tom Banks – classify Wilson's insights as the deepest advance of theoretical physics since the 1970s. Despite these experts' opinions, Wilson remained largely unknown to the public throughout his life.