Leo Kadanoff

Last updated
Leo Kadanoff
Professor Leo Kadanoff.jpg
Leo P. Kadanoff
Born(1937-01-14)January 14, 1937
New York City, New York
DiedOctober 26, 2015(2015-10-26) (aged 78)
NationalityAmerican
Alma mater Harvard University
Known for Renormalization group theory of phase transitions
Application of operator algebras in statistical mechanics
Universality
Baym–Kadanoff functional
Awards Wolf Prize in Physics (1980)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1986)
Lars Onsager Prize (1998)
Lorentz Medal (2006)
Isaac Newton Medal (2011) [1]
Scientific career
Fields Theoretical physics
Institutions University of Chicago
Doctoral advisor Paul Martin
Doctoral students

Leo Philip Kadanoff (January 14, 1937 – October 26, 2015) was an American physicist. [2] He was a professor of physics (emeritus from 2004) [3] at the University of Chicago and a former President of the American Physical Society (APS). [4] He contributed to the fields of statistical physics, chaos theory, and theoretical condensed matter physics.

Contents

Biography

Kadanoff was raised in New York City. He received his undergraduate degree and doctorate [5] in physics (1960) from Harvard University. After a post-doctorate at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, he joined the physics faculty at the University of Illinois in 1965.

Kadanoff's early research focused upon superconductivity. In the late 1960s, he studied the organization of matter in phase transitions. Kadanoff demonstrated that sudden changes in material properties (such as the magnetization of a magnet or the boiling of a fluid) could be understood in terms of scaling and universality. With his collaborators, he showed how all the experimental data then available for the changes, called second-order phase transitions, could be understood in terms of these two ideas. These same ideas have now been extended to apply to a broad range of scientific and engineering problems, and have found numerous and important applications in urban planning, computer science, hydrodynamics, biology, applied mathematics and geophysics. In recognition of these achievements, he won the Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society (1977), the Wolf Prize in Physics (1980), the 1989 Boltzmann Medal of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and the 2006 Lorentz Medal.

In 1969 he moved to Brown University. He exploited mathematical analogies between solid state physics and urban growth to shed insights into the latter field, so much so that he contributed substantially to the statewide planning program in Rhode Island. In 1978 he moved to the University of Chicago, where he became the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor of Physics and Mathematics. Much of his work in the second half of his career involved contributions to chaos theory, in both mechanical and fluid systems. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1982. [6]

He was one of the recipients of the 1999 National Medal of Science, awarded by President Clinton. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences [7] and of the American Philosophical Society [8] as well as being a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. During the last decade, he has received the Quantrell Award (for excellence in teaching) from the University of Chicago, the Centennial Medal of Harvard University, the Lars Onsager Prize of the American Physical Society, and the Grande Medaille d'Or of the Académie des sciences de l'Institut de France.

His textbook with Gordon Baym, Quantum Statistical Mechanics ( ISBN   020141046X), is a prominent text in the field and has been widely translated.

With Leo Irakliotis, Kadanoff established the Center for Presentation of Science at the University of Chicago.

In June 2013, it was stated that anonymous donors had provided a $3.5 million gift to establish the Leo Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics at the University of Chicago. [9] He died after complications from an illness on October 26, 2015. [10] In 2018 the American Physical Society established the Leo P. Kadanoff Prize in his honor.

Publications (selection)

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kenneth G. Wilson</span> American theoretical physicist (1936–2013)

Kenneth Geddes "Ken" Wilson was an American theoretical physicist and a pioneer in leveraging computers for studying particle physics. He was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on phase transitions—illuminating the subtle essence of phenomena like melting ice and emerging magnetism. It was embodied in his fundamental work on the renormalization group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Walter Kohn</span> American physicist (1923–2016)

Walter Kohn was an Austrian-American theoretical physicist and theoretical chemist. He was awarded, with John Pople, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998. The award recognized their contributions to the understandings of the electronic properties of materials. In particular, Kohn played the leading role in the development of density functional theory, which made it possible to calculate quantum mechanical electronic structure by equations involving the electronic density. This computational simplification led to more accurate calculations on complex systems as well as many new insights, and it has become an essential tool for materials science, condensed-phase physics, and the chemical physics of atoms and molecules.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bertrand Halperin</span>

Bertrand I. Halperin is an American physicist, former holder of the Hollis Chair of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy at the physics department of Harvard University.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael S. Turner</span> American theoretical cosmologist

Michael S. Turner is an American theoretical cosmologist who coined the term dark energy in 1998. He is the Rauner Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Chicago, having previously served as the Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor, and as the assistant director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences for the US National Science Foundation.

Stuart Alan Rice is an American theoretical chemist and physical chemist. He is well known as a theoretical chemist who also does experimental research, having spent much of his career working in multiple areas of physical chemistry. He is currently the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago. During his tenure at the University of Chicago, Rice has trained more than 100 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers. He received the National Medal of Science in 1999.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of quantum field theory</span>

In particle physics, the history of quantum field theory starts with its creation by Paul Dirac, when he attempted to quantize the electromagnetic field in the late 1920s. Heisenberg was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the creation of quantum mechanics". Major advances in the theory were made in the 1940s and 1950s, leading to the introduction of renormalized quantum electrodynamics (QED). QED was so successful and accurately predictive that efforts were made to apply the same basic concepts for the other forces of nature. By the late 1970s, these efforts successfully utilized gauge theory in the strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force, producing the modern Standard Model of particle physics.

Daniel Harry Friedan is an American theoretical physicist and one of three children of the feminist author and activist Betty Friedan. He is a professor at Rutgers University.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Édouard Brézin</span> French physicist

Édouard Brézin is a French theoretical physicist. He is professor at Université Paris 6, working at the laboratory for theoretical physics (LPT) of the École Normale Supérieure since 1986.

Michael Ellis Fisher was an English physicist, as well as chemist and mathematician, known for his many seminal contributions to statistical physics, including but not restricted to the theory of phase transitions and critical phenomena. He was the Horace White Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics at Cornell University. Later he moved to the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, where he was University System of Maryland Regents Professor, a Distinguished University Professor and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marvin L. Cohen</span> American physicist

Marvin Lou Cohen is an American theoretical physicist. He is a University Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Cohen is a leading expert in the field of Condensed Matter Physics. He is highly cited and most widely known for his seminal work on the electronic structure of solids.

Gordon Alan Baym is an American theoretical physicist.

Louise Ann Dolan is an American mathematical physicist and professor of physics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She does research in theoretical particle physics, gauge theories, gravity, and string theory, and is generally considered to be one of the foremost experts worldwide in this field. Her work is at the forefront of particle physics today.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Xiao-Gang Wen</span> Chinese-American physicist

Xiao-Gang Wen is a Chinese-American physicist. He is a Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His expertise is in condensed matter theory in strongly correlated electronic systems. In Oct. 2016, he was awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize.

John Lawrence CardyFRS is a British-American theoretical physicist at the University of California, Berkeley. He is best known for his work in theoretical condensed matter physics and statistical mechanics, and in particular for research on critical phenomena and two-dimensional conformal field theory.

Franz Joachim Wegner is emeritus professor for theoretical physics at the University of Heidelberg.

Ian Keith Affleck is a Canadian physicist specializing in condensed matter physics. He is Killam University Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">G. Peter Lepage</span> Canadian American theoretical physicist

G. Peter Lepage is a Canadian American theoretical physicist and an academic administrator. He was the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University from 2003 to 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">M. Cristina Marchetti</span> American physicist

Maria Cristina Marchetti is an Italian-born, American theoretical physicist specializing in statistical physics and condensed matter physics. In 2019, she received the Leo P. Kadanoff Prize of the American Physical Society. She held the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professorship of Physics at Syracuse University, where she was the director of the Soft and Living Matter program, and chaired the department 2007-2010. She is currently Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Leo P. Kadanoff Prize is awarded annually by the American Physical Society (APS) for outstanding research in statistical or nonlinear physics. The research can be theoretical, experimental, or computational.

References

  1. "Honors by Faculty". uchicago.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13.
  2. Brenner, Michael P.; Nagel, Sidney R. (April 2016). "Obituary. Leo Philip Kadanoff". Physics Today. 69 (4): 69–70. Bibcode:2016PhT....69d..69B. doi: 10.1063/pt.3.3146 .
  3. "Faculty Directory". uchicago.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13.
  4. "History of the APS Presidential Line" . Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  5. "Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics". uchicago.edu. Archived from the original on 2011-06-18.
  6. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter K" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 21, 2011.
  7. "Leo P. Kadanoff". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  8. "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-12-09.
  9. "Anonymous gift of $3.5 million to support Leo Kadanoff Center for Theoretical Physics". June 11, 2013.
  10. "Leo Kadanoff Obituary - Skokie, IL - ChicagoTribune.com". ChicagoTribune.com.