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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Kenneth G. Wilson

Photo

Dates

June 8, 1936 – June 15, 2013

Authorized Form of Name

Wilson, Kenneth G. (Kenneth Geddes), 1936-2013

Additional Forms of Names

Vil'son, K., 1936-2013

Wilson, Ken (Kenneth Geddes), 1936-2013

Wilson, Kenneth Geddes, 1936-2013

Biography

Abstract

Kenneth Wilson was Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor of Physics at Ohio State University (1988-2013). Other institutional affiliations included Cornell University. His research interests included quantum field theory, elementary particle theory, renormalization, strong interations, and phase transitions. In 1982 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions."

Important Dates

June 8, 1936Birth, Waltham (Mass.).

1956Obtained BS in Mathematics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1959 – 1962Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows, Harvard University.

1961Obtained PhD in Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (Calif.).

1962Ford Foundation Fellow, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

1963 – 1988Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics (1963-1974); Director, Center for Theory and Simulation in Science and Engineering, Cornell Theory Center (1985-1988); and James A. Weeks Professor (1974-1988), Cornell University, Ithaca (N.Y.).

1969 – 1970Staff Member, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).

1973Awarded Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, American Physical Society.

1975Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1980Awarded Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics.

1982Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics "for his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions".

1988 – 2013Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor of Physics, Ohio State University, Columbus (Ohio).

1993Awarded Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics, American Physical Society.

1995 – 2000Member, Board of Governors, Weizman Institute of Science.

1997 – 2003Member, Board of Directors, NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education, National Education Association.

1998Fellow, American Physical Society.

June 15, 2013Death, Saco (Me.).

Occupation

Theoretical physicist.

Places

Birth

Waltham (Mass.)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Graduate Education

Pasadena (Calif.)

Employment

Ithaca (N.Y.)

Columbus (Ohio)

Death

Saco (Me.)

Subjects

Computers.

Elementary particles.

Phase transformations (Statistical physics).

Quantum chromodynamics.

Quantum field theory.

Renormalization (Physics).

Strong interactions (Nuclear physics)

Theoretical physics.

Relationships

People

Family

Brown, Alison A.

Wife. Married in 1982.

Wilson, D. B. (David Buckingham), 1940-

Brother.

Wilson, E. Bright (Edgar Bright), 1908-

Father.

Wilson, Emily Buckingham

Mother.

Advisors & Collaborators

Gell-Mann, Murray

PhD advisor at California Institute of Technology, "An investigation of the Low equation and the Chew-Mandelstam equations."

Ginsparg, P. (Paul)

Advised by Wilson at Cornell University, "Aspects of symmetry behavior in quantum field theory."

Jackiw, Roman W.

Advised by Wilson at Cornell University, "Nonperturbative solutions of the Bethe-Salpeter equation for the vertex function."

Colleagues

Ashcroft, Neil W.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Bainbridge, Kenneth T. (Kenneth Tompkins), 1904-1996

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005

Both employed at Cornell University.

Bloembergen, N.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Coleman, Sidney, 1937-2007

Both employed at Harvard University.

Corson, Dale R.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Drell, Persis S.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Feigenbaum, Mitchell J.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Fisher, Michael E. (Michael Ellis)

Both employed at Cornell University.

Furry, W. H. (Wendell Hinkle), 1907-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Glauber, Roy J., 1925-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Greisen, Kenneth

Both employed at Cornell University.

Kinoshita, T. (Toichiro)

Both employed at Cornell University.

Kleppner, Daniel

Both employed at Harvard University.

Krumhansl, J. A. (James A.)

Both employed at Cornell University.

Lee, David M.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Martin, Paul Cecil, 1931-

Both employed at Harvard University.

McDaniel, Boyce D. (Boyce Dawkins), 1917-

Both employed at Cornell University.

Mermin, N. David

Both employed at Cornell University.

Morrison, Philip

Both employed at Cornell University.

Pandharipande, V. R.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Peoples, John, Jr.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Pohl, Robert O.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Pound, Robert V.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Purcell, Edward M.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Harvard University.

Reppy, John David

Both employed at Cornell University.

Richardson, Robert C. (Robert Coleman), 1937-2013

Both employed at Cornell University.

Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994

Both employed at Harvard University.

Street, Jabez Curry, 1906-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Susskind, Leonard

Both employed at Cornell University.

Tedrow, Paul, 1940-

Both employed at Cornell University.

Teukolsky, Saul A. (Saul Arno), 1947-

Both employed at Cornell University.

Tigner, M.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

Both employed at Harvard University.

Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Both employed at Cornell University.

Additional

Callan, Curtis G.

Dyson, Freeman J.

Low, Francis E. (Francis Eugene), 1921-2007

Institutions

Major Positions

Cornell University. Department of Physics

Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics and James A. Weeks Professor.

Ohio State University. Department of Physics

Hazel C. Youngberg Trustees Distinguished Professor of Physics.

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Staff Member.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

Fellow; received 1973 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics; and received 1993 Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics.

California Institute of Technology. Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy

Obtained PhD in Physics (1961).

Cornell Theory Center

Director, Center for Theory and Simulation in Science and Engineering.

European Organization for Nuclear Research

Ford Foundation Fellow.

Harvard University. Department of Mathematics

Obtained BS (1956).

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows.

Mekhon Ṿaitsman le-madaʻ

Member, Board of Governors.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

National Education Association of the United States

Member, Board of Directors, NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education.

University of Washington. Department of Physics

Wolf Foundation Prizes

Received 1980 Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Arnold B. Arons memorial session [videorecording] / at the Summer Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, 2001.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Kenneth G. Wilson papers, 1960-2000.

Carl A. Kroch Library. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections

Cornell University

2B Carl A Kroch Library, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Oral history interview with Kenneth G. Wilson, 1991 December 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Murray Gell-Mann papers, 1931-2001 (bulk 1955-1993).

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Oral history interview with Murray Gell-Mann, 1997 July 17 and 18.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Oral history interview with Roman Jackiw, 2010 August 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Broken scale invariance and the light cone; Lectures. M. Gell-Mann and K. Wilson, session leaders.

Kenneth G. Wilson Nobel Prize Autobiography

Subject

"Relating Theories via Renormalization," Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (2013): 22-39

Kenneth G. Wilson Cornell Chronicle obituary.

Kenneth G. Wilson New York Times obituary.

Kenneth Geddes Wilson Physics Today obituary.