Keith Moffatt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keith Moffatt
Born (1935-04-12) 12 April 1935 (age 87)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Other namesHenry Keith Moffatt
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
University of Cambridge
Known forMoffatt eddies
Non-axisymmetric Burgers vortices
AwardsSmith's Prize (1960)
Senior Whitehead Prize (2005)
Hughes Medal (2005)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1986)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
ThesisMagnetohydrodynamic Turbulence (1962)
Doctoral advisorGeorge Batchelor
Doctoral studentsMichael Proctor
Renzo Ricca
Andrew Soward

Henry Keith Moffatt, FRS FRSE (born 12 April 1935) is a Scottish mathematician with research interests in the field of fluid dynamics, particularly magnetohydrodynamics and the theory of turbulence. He was Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1980 to 2002.

Early life and education[edit]

Moffatt was born on 12 April 1935 to Emmeline Marchant and Frederick Henry Moffatt.[1] He was schooled at George Watson's College, Edinburgh, going on to study Mathematical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1957. He then went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics and, 1959, he was a Wrangler. In 1960, he was awarded a Smith's Prize while preparing his PhD. He received his PhD in 1962, the title of his dissertation was Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence.


After completing his PhD, Moffatt joined the staff of the Mathematics Faculty in Cambridge as an Assistant Lecturer[1] and became a Fellow of Trinity College. He was appointed a lecturer in 1964, and held the office of Tutor, then Senior Tutor, at Trinity between 1970 and 1976.

In 1977 he was appointed to the Chair of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bristol.[1] He held this position until 1980 when he returned to Cambridge to take up the Chair in Mathematical Physics, renewing his Fellowship of Trinity College. In 2002 he was made an Emeritus Professor of the University (he remains a Fellow of Trinity).

In the early 2000s he published papers on the theory of Euler's Disk.

Moffatt has published more than 200 papers.


Honours and awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

In 1960 he married Katharine (Linty), and together they had four children, two daughters and two sons, one of whom is deceased.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Moffatt, Prof. (Henry) Keith, (born 12 April 1935), Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Cambridge, 1980–2002, now Professor Emeritus (Head of Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, 1983–91); Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1961–76, and since 1980", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2007, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u27771, ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4, retrieved 4 May 2019
  2. ^ "H.K. Moffatt" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 15 July 2015.