Franz Wegner

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Franz Wegner
Born (1940-06-15) 15 June 1940 (age 78)
Alma mater Technical University Munich
Known for Wegner exponent
Wegner estimate
Wegner orbital model

Max Planck medal

Lars Onsager Prize
Scientific career
Fields Statistical Physics
Institutions University of Heidelberg
Brown University

Franz Joachim Wegner (born 15 June 1940) is emeritus professor for theoretical physics at the University of Heidelberg.


Franz Wegner attained a doctorate in 1968 with thesis advisor Wilhelm Brenig at the Technical University Munich with the thesis, "Zum Heisenberg-Modell im paramagnetischen Bereich und am kritischen Punkt" ("On the Heisenberg model within the paramagnetic range and at the critical point").

Subsequently, he did research with a post-doctoral position at Forschungszentrum Jülich, in the group of Herbert Wagner and at Brown University with Leo Kadanoff.[1] Since 1974 he is a professor at Heidelberg.[2]


The emphasis of his scientific work is statistical physics, in particular the theory of phase transitions and the renormalization group.[3][4] The eponymous "Wegner exponent" is of fundamental importance for the purpose of describing corrections to asymptotic scale invariance in close proximity to phase transitions. Wegner also "invented" the foundational lattice gauge theoretical models. The method developed from Wegner's foundational work is nowadays intensively used in simulations of quantum chromodynamics.


Wegner won the Walter Schottky prize in 1976 for his work on phase transitions and elementary particles.[2] He has also been elected to the Heidelberger Academy of Sciences and won the Max Planck medal among other awards and recognitions. He won the Lars Onsager prize from American Physical Society in 2015 for his contributions to Statistical mechanics. [5]

Selected works of Wegner[edit]

Reprinted in Claudio Rebbi (ed.), Lattice Gauge Theories and Monte Carlo Simulations, World Scientific, Singapore (1983), p. 60–73. (Abstract.)


  1. ^ Kadanoff, L. P.; Wegner, F. J. (1971). "Some Critical Properties of the Eight-Vertex Model". Phys. Rev. B. 4: 3989–93. Bibcode:1971PhRvB...4.3989K. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.4.3989. 
  2. ^ a b "German Physical Society gives theoretical‐physics awards", Physics Today, 29 (9): 69, 1976, Bibcode:1976PhT....29i..69., doi:10.1063/1.3023914 .
  3. ^ Kadanoff, Leo P. (1999), From order to chaos II: essays, critical, chaotic, and otherwise, Series on Nonlinear Science, 32, World Scientific, p. 161, ISBN 978-981-02-3434-8 .
  4. ^ Cao, Tian Yu (2004), Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Field Theory, Cambridge University Press, p. 93, ISBN 978-0-521-60272-3 .
  5. ^ "Prize Recipient". Retrieved 2018-01-30.