Sydney Goldstein was born on 3 Dec 1903. He entered the University of Leeds in 1921 where he studied mathematics. He moved to St John's College, Cambridge graduating in 1925, gaining the Smith's Prize in 1927. He was awarded an Isaac Newton Studentship to continue undertaking research in applied mathematics under Harold Jeffreys. His PhD thesis was entitled "The Theory and Application of Mathieu Functions" in 1928.
Sydney Goldstein was awarded Rockefeller Research Fellow and spent a year working in University of Göttingen.
After World War II he was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Great Britain, one of the youngest persons to be so honored.
Goldstein strongly supported the State of Israel and in 1950 he accepted the chairmanship of the department of mathematics at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Having made a major contribution to the establishment of the Technion he found the administrative load too heavy and accepted Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Mathematics at Harvard University in 1954.
He retired in 1968 but continued as an emeritus professor at Harvard.
Editor of Modern Developments in Fluid Dynamics
Moving to Cambridge in 1931 he took over the editorship of Modern Developments in Fluid Dynamics on Lamb's death.
Boundary Layer Theory
During World War II Goldstein worked on boundary layer theory at the National Physical Laboratory and at the end of the war he was appointed to the Beyer Chair of Applied Mathematics in Manchester.
He was a British mathematician noted for his contribution to fluid dynamics.
He is described as:
"... one of those who most influenced progress in fluid dynamics during the 20th century."
Lighthill, J. (1990). "Sydney Goldstein. 3 December 1903-22 January 1989". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society.
Steady-flow laminar boundary-layer equations
He was especially known for his work on steady-flow laminar boundary-layer equations and on the turbulent resistance to rotation of a disk in a fluid. Goldstein was extremely knowledgeable on aerodynamics and his work had a significant impact in that area.
Goldstein at Manchester
In 1929 he became a Lecturer in Mathematics and later in 1945 he was appointed to the Beyer Chair of Applied Mathematics at the University of Manchester where the strong influence of Reynolds and Lamb’s work in fluid dynamics had a profound impact on him.
in 1965 Sydney Goldstein received The Timoshenko Medal of the American Scociety of Mechanical Engineers