Boltzmann Medal

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The Boltzmann Medal (or Boltzmann Award) is a prize awarded to physicists that obtain new results concerning statistical mechanics; it is named after the celebrated physicist Ludwig Boltzmann. The Boltzmann Medal is awarded once every three years by the Commission on Statistical Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, during the STATPHYS conference.[1][2]

The award consists of a gilded medal; its front carries the inscription Ludwig Boltzmann, 1844–1906.


All the winners are influential physicists or mathematicians whose contribution to statistical physics have been relevant in the past decades. Institution with multiple recipients are Sapienza University of Rome (3) and École Normale Supérieure, Cornell University, University of Cambridge and Princeton University (2).

The Medal cannot be awarded to scientist who already has been laureate of a Nobel Prize. Two recipients of the Boltzmann Medal have gone to win the Nobel Prize in Physics: Kenneth G. Wilson (1982) and Giorgio Parisi (2021).

Year Laureates Institution For
1975 Kenneth G. Wilson[3] Cornell University
1977 Ryogo Kubo[3] University of Tokyo "his work in the field of fluctuation theory."
1980 Rodney J. Baxter[4][5] Australian National University
1983 Michael E. Fisher[6] University of Maryland, College Park
1986 David Ruelle[7] Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques
Yakov G. Sinai[7] Moscow State University
1989 Leo Kadanoff[8] University of Chicago
1992 Joel Lebowitz[9] Rutgers University "his many important contributions to equilibrium and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics and for his leadership role in the statistical physics community."
Giorgio Parisi[9] Sapienza University of Rome "his fundamental contributions to statistical physics, and particularly for his solution of the mean field theory of spin glasses."
1995 Sam F. Edwards[10] University of Cambridge
1998 Elliott Lieb[11] Princeton University
Benjamin Widom[11] Cornell University "his illuminating studies of the statistical mechanics of fluids and fluid mixtures and their interfacial properties, especially his clear and general formulation of scaling hypotheses for the equation of state and surface tensions of fluids near critical points."
2001 Berni Alder[12] University of California at Davis “inventing the technique of molecular dynamics simulation and showing that with such ‘computer experiments’ important discoveries in the field of statistical mechanics can be made, in particular the melting/crystallization transition of hard spheres and the long-time decay of autocorrelation functions in fluids.”
Kyozi Kawasaki[12] Chubu University “contribution to our understanding of dynamic phenomena in condensed matter systems, in particular the mode-coupling theory of fluids near criticality, and nonlinear problems, such as critical phenomena in sheared fluids and phase separation kinetics."
2004 E.G.D. Cohen[13] Rockefeller University “fundamental contributions to nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, including the development of a theory of transport phenomena in dense gases, and the characterization of measures and fluctuations in non-equilibrium stationary states.”
H. Eugene Stanley[13][14] Boston University "influential contributions to several areas of statistical physics, including the theory of phase transitions and critical phenomena in spin systems and the percolation problem, and the application of these ideas to interpret the anomalous properties of liquid water."
2007 Kurt Binder[15] University of Mainz
Giovanni Gallavotti[16] Sapienza University of Rome
2010 John Cardy[17] University of Oxford
Bernard Derrida[18] École Normale Supérieure
2013 Giovanni Jona-Lasinio[19] Sapienza University of Rome "his seminal contributions to spontaneous symmetry breaking in particle physics and the theory of non-equilibrium fluctuations."
Harry Swinney[19] University of Texas at Austin "his ingenious and challenging experiments which have had a large impact on many areas of statistical physics."
2016 Daan Frenkel[20] University of Cambridge "seminal contributions to the statistical-mechanical understanding of the kinetics, self-assembly and phase behaviour of soft matter."
Yves Pomeau[21] University of Arizona and École Normale Supérieure "key contributions to the Statistical Physics of non-equilibrium phenomena in general. And, in particular, for developing our modern understanding of fluid mechanics, instabilities, pattern formation and chaos."
2019 Herbert Spohn[22] Technical University Munich
2022 Deepak Dhar[23] Tata Institute of Fundamental Research "his seminal contributions in the field of statistical physics, including exact solutions of self-organised criticality models, interfacial growth, universal long-time relaxation in disordered magnetic systems, exact solutions in percolation and cluster counting problems and definition of spectral dimension of fractals."
John J. Hopfield[23] Cornell University "extending the boundaries of statistical physics to encompass the phenomena of life, from kinetic proofreading in the transmission of information at the molecular level to the dynamics of neural networks creating a new language for thinking about computation in the brain."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hao, Bailin (1996-03-18). "The Boltzmann medal". Statphys 19 - Proceedings of the 19th IUPAP International Conference on Statistical Physics. World Scientific. pp. xix–xxii. ISBN 978-981-4549-08-0.
  2. ^ Nadis, Steve (2000). "Computer glitch unleashes prize nomination debate". Nature. 404 (6776): 320. doi:10.1038/35006221. ISSN 0028-0836. S2CID 36669807.
  3. ^ a b Ruskin, H.; Cherry, R. (1977-12-14). "IUPAP Conference on Statistical Physics (13th)": 2. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Pearce, Paul A (2016-10-14). "Hard hexagons, hard squares and hard mathematics". Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical. 49 (41): 411003. Bibcode:2016JPhA...49O1003P. doi:10.1088/1751-8113/49/41/411003. ISSN 1751-8113. S2CID 125201916.
  5. ^ "Preface [Journal of Statistical Physics volume 102, pages 373–374 (2001)]". Journal of Statistical Physics. 102 (3/4): 373–374. 2001. doi:10.1023/A:1017317713287.
  6. ^ Fisher, Michael E. (1984). "Walks, walls, wetting, and melting". Journal of Statistical Physics. 34 (5–6): 667–729. Bibcode:1984JSP....34..667F. doi:10.1007/BF01009436. ISSN 0022-4715. S2CID 122975700.
  7. ^ a b Khanin, Konstantin (2017). "Mathematical Journey of Yakov Sinai". Journal of Statistical Physics. 166 (3–4): 463–466. Bibcode:2017JSP...166..463K. doi:10.1007/s10955-016-1668-8. ISSN 0022-4715. S2CID 126102547.
  8. ^ Brenner, Michael P. (2016). "Leo Philip Kadanoff". Physics Today. 69 (4): 69–70. Bibcode:2016PhT....69d..69B. doi:10.1063/PT.3.3146.
  9. ^ a b "Lebowitz and Parisi are Boltzmann Medalists". Physics Today. 45 (11): 104. 1992. Bibcode:1992PhT....45k.104.. doi:10.1063/1.2809888. ISSN 0031-9228.
  10. ^ Goldenfeld, Nigel (2016-01-05). "Samuel Frederick Edwards: Founder of modern polymer and soft matter theory". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113 (1): 10–11. Bibcode:2016PNAS..113...10G. doi:10.1073/pnas.1523001113. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4711878. PMID 26699498.
  11. ^ a b Loring, Roger F.; Koga, Kenichiro; Ben-Amotz, Dor (2018-04-05). "Tribute to Benjamin Widom". The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 122 (13): 3203–3205. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcb.8b00129. ISSN 1520-6106. PMID 29618212.
  12. ^ a b "Alder, Kawasaki Named This Year's Boltzmann Medalists". Physics Today. 54 (6): 73. 2001. Bibcode:2001PhT....54S..73.. doi:10.1063/1.1387602. ISSN 0031-9228.
  13. ^ a b "Cohen, Stanley Win Boltzmann Medals". Physics Today. 57 (7): 73. 2004. doi:10.1063/1.2408583. ISSN 0031-9228.
  14. ^ Tsallis, Constantino (2020-10-15). "Retirement of Prof. H. Eugene Stanley as Main Editor of Physica A/Elsevier". Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications. 556: 124834. Bibcode:2020PhyA..55624834T. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2020.124834. S2CID 225697874.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  15. ^ Mareschal, Michel (2019-07-09). "From Varenna (1970) to Como (1995): Kurt Binder's long walk in the land of criticality". The European Physical Journal H. 44 (2): 161–179. Bibcode:2019EPJH...44..161M. doi:10.1140/epjh/e2019-100016-3. ISSN 2102-6459. S2CID 198440745.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  16. ^ "Statphys 23 - Boltzmann Medal". Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  17. ^ Cardy, John (2010-10-07). "The ubiquitous ' c ': from the Stefan–Boltzmann law to quantum information". Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment. 2010 (10): P10004. arXiv:1008.2331. Bibcode:2010JSMTE..10..004C. doi:10.1088/1742-5468/2010/10/P10004. ISSN 1742-5468. S2CID 119105135.
  18. ^ statphys.sissa. "Boltzmann medal | Statistical Physics @ Trieste". Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  19. ^ a b "STATPHYS25". Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  20. ^ Frenkel, Daan; Louët, Sabine (2016-06-28). "Interview with Daan Frenkel, Boltzmann Medallist 2016: Simulating soft matter through the lens of statistical mechanics". The European Physical Journal E. 39 (6): 68. doi:10.1140/epje/i2016-16068-7. ISSN 1292-8941. PMID 27349557. S2CID 45142053.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  21. ^ Pomeau, Yves; Louët, Sabine (2016-06-28). "Interview with Yves Pomeau, Boltzmann Medallist 2016: The universality of statistical physics interpretation is ever more obvious". The European Physical Journal E. 39 (6): 67. doi:10.1140/epje/i2016-16067-8. ISSN 1292-8941. PMID 27349556. S2CID 25538225.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  22. ^ "Boltzmann Medal for Herbert Spohn". TUM (in German). Retrieved 2022-06-23.
  23. ^ a b Desikan, Shubashree (2022-03-05). "Deepak Dhar and John J. Hopfield chosen for the Boltzmann medal". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2022-06-23.

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