John M. Greene
Greene's father was a professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State. After several successes as a high school student in the state mathematical competitions of Kansas, he received a Pepsi Cola scholarship at Caltech, where he earned a B. S. in 1950. In 1956 he received a PhD from the University of Rochester in nuclear physics under David Feldman with a thesis entitled "High-Order Corrections to the Nucleon-Nucleon Potential in Change-Symmetric Pseudoscalar Theory." After his PhD, he worked at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (on "Project Matterhorn"), where he was one of the leading theoretical physicists and remained until 1982. In 1982 he was Senior Technical Advisor in the theory group of General Atomics and simultaneously adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego. He died as a consequence of Parkinson's disease.
He was the author of a series of works with John Johnson und Katherine Weimer on equilibria and instabilities in Tokamak and Stellarator plasmas in magnetohydrodynamics. With Johnson and Ray Grimm he developed the computer program PEST (Princeton Equlibrium and Stability in Tokamak's Code). With Bruno Coppi and others he investigated dissipative instabilities in plasmas. With Ira B. Bernstein and Martin Kruskal he did research on BKG modes (nonlinear wave solutions in plasma physics). In the 1970s he worked on Hamiltonian dynamics in chaos theory. In 1979 he published Greene's criterion for the collapse of tori in KAM theory.
He was married since 1956 and had a daughter and two grandchildren. He died as a consequence of Parkinson's disease.
- “Korteweg-de-Vries equation and generalizations VI: Methods for exact solution“, Comm.Pure Applied Mathematics, vol. 27, 1974, pp. 97-133
- John M. Greene at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Steele Prize for Greene, Notices AMS 2006, pdf file (384 kB)
- Obituary from Princeton Town Topics
- Biography from APS
- Obituary in Physics Today