Emilio Del GiudiceIt is with great regret that we announce the sudden death of our friend and colleague Emilio del Giudice, (Prigogine Medallist 2009). He was a very active member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Design and Nature with Ecodynamics, as well as supporter of other activities of the Wessex Institute and WIT Press. He was engaged in writing an article with another of our colleagues, Vladimir Voeikov (Prigogine Medallist 2013) at the time of his death on 31st January 2014.

Emilio was a member of the International Institute of Biophysics at Neuss in Germany, having previously worked at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics in Milano; the University of Naples; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN); and the Niels Böhr Institute.

His 2009 Prigogine lecture in the Aula Magna of the University of Siena dealt with the Interplay of Quantum Field Theory and the thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes. The studies presented during the address were characteristic of the wide breadth of his research, relating the behaviour of collective processes and living organisms with Quantum Electromagnetic Field Theory. His innovative approach to any scientific problem included numerous studies on the structure of liquid water.

Giorgio Masiero, a close friend and collaborator of Emilio, has described the importance of his work as follows: "The classical mechanics was based on the concept of isolated bodies, in such manner that a complex system was explained as an aggregate of isolated microscopic parts, interacting with each other under the influence of external forces. This classical, naturalistic and reductionist explanation was however proved to be in contradiction with the experimental behaviour of atomic matter, remaining valid only as an approximation at the macroscopic level of a more accurate theory valid in all scales, ie the Quantum Field Theory."

Giorgio Masiero also stated that Emilio embarked, throughout his life, on a scientific journey, without any pre-conditioning or prejudice, a journey motivated only by searching for knowledge. This has encompassed from the quantum theory to the homeopathy and his study on the memory of water, from cold fusion to the effect of electromagnetic fields on living organisms, which are the foundations of the complex process of self organisation.

Emilio frequently referred to the spirit of scientific curiosity that drives us to investigate how nature works by decomposing its products into a series of basic elements. Once a living system has been divided into those elements down to the atomic or molecular level, the next question is to understand how the system can be rebuilt again. This indeed was the challenge, as Emilio said, of modern science.

"How can all individual composites be made to evolve in the right direction and become a living organism? There ought to be a code by which the atoms are made to fulfil their biological functions. Atoms are seen to interact in a primarily random way in physical systems but not in the case of biological systems. In living organisms, the atoms are arranged in accordance with a coding. This code is based on electromagnetic fields and the frequency of those fields made the interaction of different atoms possible. These forces are the basis of selection and the mechanism that supports the field is water."

Larissa Brizhik (Prigogine Medallist 2011), another of his many friends and collaborators, expressed Emilio's unique qualities by saying that "the outstanding personality of Emilio was manifested in everything he was doing, and everything he was doing in his life, he did with great joy. He was highly educated in many areas – from physics and mathematics to sociology, psychology, medicine and music. Emilio believed that the most complicated concepts could be explained in a very simple way".

Mae-wan Ho, another distinguished colleague, is of the opinion that "Emilio was the most brilliant scientist alive; his pioneering work in quantum field theory of condensed matter, specially water, was a major inspiration for many of us".

The originality of Emilio's ideas was based on what Robert Ulanowicz (Prigogine Medallist 2007) called "his bold challenge of orthodoxy in ways that support Popper's calls for falsifiability in science".

The answer to how the electromagnetic field varies in water is what Emilio called "the Quantum Physics miracle!" The change in configuration is produced by exciting the atoms by photons which become 'trapped' in the system. The capture of successive numbers of photons will contribute to the oscillations of the atoms, resulting in the creation of a field that will attract other atoms. This means that water as an electromagnetic field can be seen as the source of all life. In this manner, water provides energy to the living matter.

Emilio's departure is a great loss to modern science as well as to his many friends and colleagues. He will be sorely missed and it will be difficult – if not impossible – to find another scientist who comprehends so many different fields and interdisciplinary concepts; his ability to explain them in a clear and precise manner was his trademark as a great teacher.

Carlos A. Brebbia, Wessex Institute, UK

Larissa Brizhik (Prigogine Medal 2011), Ukraine

Robert Ulanowicz (Prigogine Medal 2007), USA

Mae-wan Ho, UK

Giorgio Masiero, Italy