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Biographical entry Prokhovnik, Simon James (1920 - 1994)

15 June 1920
Paris, France
20 June 1994
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Simon James Prokhovnik was an associate professor in mathematics at the University of New South Wales. He had a particular interest in relativity and cosmology and wrote The Logic of Special Relativity and Light in Einstein's Universe.


After a temporary stay in New Zealand, Simon Jacques Prokhovnik and his family migrated to Melbourne in 1931. Simon remained in Melbourne for the next 24 years (circa) and during this time he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and an Honours degree in chemistry (possibly biochemistry) at the University of Melbourne. In 1965 Prokhovnik received a Masters degree from the same university.

Simon Prokhovnik's employment history included two years as a clerk in the Victorian Public Service, several years working as a biochemist and analytical chemist in industry and a stint as a secondary school teacher. In 1955 Prokhovnik became lecturer in mathematics at the University of New South Wales and eventually worked his way up to Associate Professor. His main research was in the areas of relativity and cosmology and in 1967 his book The logic of Special Relativity (Melbourne University Press) was released. This established Simon Prokhovnik as an expert in the field, both nationally and internationally. Prokhovnik officially retired in 1981, but continued teach cosmology for many years afterwards. His second book Light in Einstein's Universe was released in 1985.


Life event - Arrived in Australia (Melbourne)
Education - Bachelor of Arts (BA) completed at the University of Melbourne
Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
1955 - c. 1992
Career position - Lecturer then Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of New South Wales
1956 -
Career position - Member of the Royal Society of New South Wales
Education - Master of Science (MSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
Career position - Retired

Published resources


  • Prokhovnik, Simon Jacques, The Logic of Special Relativity, Melbourne University Press & Cambridge University Press, Melbourne & London, 1967. Details
  • Prokhovnik, Simon Jacques, Light in Einstein's Universe:, The Role of Energy in Cosmology and Relativity, D. Reidel Publishing Co., USA, 1985. Details

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker