Michael Aizenman (born 28 August 1945 in Nizhny Tagil, Russia) is a mathematician and a physicist at Princeton University, working in the fields of mathematical physics, statistical mechanics, functional analysis and probability theory.
The highlights of his work include: the triviality of a class of scalar quantum field theories in more than four dimensions; a description of the phase transition in the Ising model in three and more dimensions; the sharpness of the phase transition in percolation theory; a method for the study of spectral and dynamical localization for random Schrödinger operators; and insights concerning conformal invariance in two-dimensional percolation.
Aizenman was an undergraduate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was awarded his PhD in 1975 at Yeshiva University (Belfer Graduate School of Science), New York, with advisor Joel Lebowitz. After postdoctoral appointments at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University (1974–75), and Princeton University (1975–1977), with Elliott H. Lieb, he was appointed Assistant Professor at Princeton. In 1982 he moved to Rutgers University as Associate Professor and then full Professor. In 1987 he moved to the Courant Institute and in 1990 returned to Princeton as Professor of Mathematics and Physics. He was several times a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study, in 1984-85, 1991–92, and 1997–98, and is a regular Visiting Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Honors and awards
M. Aizenman has been awarded several honors. Among them is the Norbert Wiener Prize (1990) of the Amer. Math. Soc. and SIAM for "his outstanding contribution of original and non-perturbative mathematical methods in statistical mechanics by means of which he was able to solve several long open important problems concerning critical phenomena, phase transitions, and quantum field theory.", and the Dannie Heineman Prize in Mathematical Physics (2010), awarded by the APS and the AIP.
He is also the recipient of the Brouwer Medal (2002) of the Dutch Mathematical Society and the Royal Dutch Acad. Sc., (see also Brouwer Medal)and of an honorary degree of the Université de Cergy-Pontoise (2009). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1997, and the editor-in-chief of the journal Communications in Mathematical Physics since 2001. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.