Walter Noll (1925–2017) was an American mathematician of German birth who made lasting contributions to the foundations of continuum physics and the classical non- linear field theory. This essay is an attempt to put in a broader perspective Noll’s methods and achievements in the hope that young generations of researchers may find their inspira- tion in the talent and depth of the old. By no means should this be considered as a historical account on the development of continuum mechanics through the second half of the twenti- eth century. We are content to illuminate Noll’s precious legacy.
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