John Nye (scientist)

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John Frederick Nye (born 26 February 1923)[1] is the first physicist to apply plasticity to understand glacier flow.[2][3] Nye's early work was on the physics of plasticity, spanning ice rheology, ice flow mechanics, laboratory ice flow measurements, glacier surges, meltwater penetration in ice, and response of glaciers and ice sheets to seasonal and climatic changes.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1976.[3] He has served as president of the International Glaciological Society (1966–9),[3] who awarded him the Seligman Crystal in 1969 for outstanding contributions to glaciology,[4] and was also president of the International Commission of Snow and Ice of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (1971–5).[5] The Cryosphere Focus Group of the American Geophysical Union hosts a Nye Lecture each year at its fall meeting.[6]

Nye is currently Emeritus Professor in Physics at the University of Bristol, UK.[7] In addition to glaciology, his research interests include caustics and microwave probes.[7]


  • J.F. Nye, 1957, Physical Properties of Crystals: Their Representation by Tensors and Matrices. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-851165-6
  • J.F. Nye, 1999, Natural Focusing and Fine Structure of Light: Caustics and Wave Dislocations. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-7503-0610-2

Scientific publications[edit]

  • 1951, The flow of glaciers and ice-sheets as a problem in plasticity. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A-Mathematical And Physical Sciences, 207(1091),554-572.
  • 1952, The mechanics of glacier flow. J. Glaciol. 2 (1952), pp. 82–93
  • 1953, The flow law of ice from measurements in glacier tunnels, laboratory experiments and the Jungfraufirn Borehole Experiment. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A-Mathematical And Physical Sciences, 219(1139), 477-489.
  • 1958, Surges in Glaciers, Nature 181, 1450–1451
  • 1959. The motion of ice sheets and glaciers. J. Glaciol., 3(26), 493-507.


  1. ^ Merchant, Paul. "National Life Stories an Oral History to British Sciences" (PDF). The British Library Board. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  2. ^ Lalena, John N.; David A. Cleary (2005). Principles of Inorganic Materials Design. WileyIEEE. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-471-71488-0.
  3. ^ a b c Certificates of Election and Candidature, RefNo EC/1976/26: Nye, John Frederick. Royal Society. Accessed 2009-04-26.
  4. ^ The Seligman Crystal. International Glaciological Society. Accessed 2009-04-26.
  5. ^ Radok, Uwe (1997). "The International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI) and its precursors, 1894-1994" (PDF). Hydrological Sciences–Journal des Sciences Hydrologique. 42 (2): 131–140. doi:10.1080/02626669709492015.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ AGU Cryosphere Focus Group Nye Lecture History. American Geophysical Union website. Accessed 2009-04-26.
  7. ^ a b John Nye: Home page. University of Bristol. Accessed 2009-04-26.

External links[edit]