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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Lars Onsager

Photo

Dates

November 27, 1903 – October 5, 1976

Authorized Form of Name

Onsager, Lars, 1903-1976

Biography

Abstract

Lars Onsager was Distinguished University Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, University of Miami, Center for Theoretical Studies (1972-1976). Other institutional affiliations include Yale University, Brown University, and Johns Hopkins University. His research interests included the theory of electrolytes, colloids, dielectrics, order-disorder transitions, metals and superfluids, hydrodynamics and fractionation theory. In 1968 he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Important Dates

November 27, 1903Birth, Oslo (Norway).

1925Obtained ChE, Technical University of Norway, Trondheim (Norway).

1928Associate in Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University.

1928 – 1933Research Instructor, Brown University, Providence (R.I.).

1934 – 1972Assistant Professor to Associate Professor (1934-1945) and Gibbs Professor of Theoretical Chemistry (1945-1972), Yale University, New Haven (Conn.).

1935Obtained PhD in Theoretical Chemistry. Yale University, New Haven (Conn.).

1946Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1951 – 1952Fulbright Scholar, Cambridge University.

1961Visiting Professor, University of California, San Diego.

1967Visiting Professor, Rockefeller University.

1968Visiting Gauss Professor, University of Göttingen.

1968Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the discovery of the reciprocal relations bearing his name, which are fundamental for the thermodynamics of irreversible processes".

1968Awarded National Medal of Science.

1970Visiting Lorentz Professor, State University of Leiden.

1972 – 1976Distinguished University Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, Center for Theoretical Studies, University of Miami.

October 5, 1976Death, Miami (Fla.).

Occupation

Theoretical chemist.

Places

Birth

Oslo (Norway)

Undergraduate Education

Trondheim (Norway)

Graduate Education

New Haven (Conn.)

Employment

Providence (R.I.)

New Haven (Conn.)

Death

Miami (Fla.)

Subjects

Dielectrics.

Electrolytes.

Hydrodynamics.

Physical chemistry.

Statistical mechanics.

Thermodynamics.

Relationships

People

Family

Arledter, Margarethe

Wife. Married 1933.

Oldham, Inger Marie

Daughter.

Onsager, Christian Carl

Son.

Onsager, Erling

Father.

Onsager, Erling Frederick

Son.

Onsager, Hans Tanberg

Son.

Onsager, Ingrid Kirkeby

Mother.

Advisors & Collaborators

Debye, Peter J. W. (Peter Josef William), 1884-1966

Researcg advisor at ETH Zurich.

Donnelly, Russell J.

Advised by Onsager at Yale University.

Montroll, E. W.

Advised by Onsager at Yale University.

Shoenberg, D. (David)

Research advisor at Cambridge University.

Colleagues

Kirkwood, John Gamble, 1907-1959

Both employed at Yale University.

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

Both employed at Johns Hopkins University.

Additional

Cohen, Morrel H.

Margenau, Henry, 1901-1997

Saperstein, Alvin M.

Zimmerman, George O.

Institutions

Major Positions

Brown University. Department of Chemistry

Research Instructor.

Johns Hopkins University. Department of Chemistry

Associate in Chemistry.

University of Miami. Center for Theoretical Studies

Distinguished University Professor of Theoretical Chemistry.

Yale University. Department of Chemistry

Obtained PhD in Theoretical Chemistry (1935). Assistant Professor to Associate Professor and Gibbs Professor of Theoretical Chemistry.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Norges tekniske høgskole

Obtained ChE (1925).

Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden

Visiting Lorentz Professor.

Rockefeller University

Visiting Professor.

Universität Göttingen

Visiting Gauss Professor.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Chemistry

Visiting Professor.

University of Cambridge. Department of Chemistry

Fulbright Scholar.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Alvin M. Saperstein student notes on lectures by Lars Onsager and Cecil T. Lane, 1952-1953.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

George O. Zimmerman collection of lecture notes by Gregory Breit and Lars Onsager, circa 1960-1961.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lars Onsager letter to Mr. Pilloff concerning viscosity of particles, 1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lars Onsager papers [microform], 1926-1977.

Manuscripts and Archives

Yale University Library

Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Lars Onsager papers, 1926-1977.

Library.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Trondheim, Norway

Subject

Henry Margenau papers, 1927-1990.

Manuscripts and Archives

Yale University Library

Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Oral history interview with Morrel H. Cohen, 1981 March 31 and June 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

The collected works of Lars Onsager : with commentary / editors, P.C. Hemmer, H. Holden, S. Kjelstrup Ratkje.

Subject

"Lars Onsager: 1903-1976", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

Journal of statistical physics : this special issue consists of papers dedicated to the memory of Lars Onsager / editor-in-chief, Joel L. Lebowitz.

Lars Onsager Physics Today obituary.

Nobel Prize Biography.