Nigel Weiss

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Nigel Weiss
Nigel Oscar Weiss

(1936-12-16) 16 December 1936 (age 82)[1]
Alma materClare College, Cambridge
Known forflux expulsion
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
ThesisVariable Hydromagnetic Motions (1961)
Doctoral advisorEdward Bullard[2]
Doctoral students
WebsiteNigel Weiss' home page

Nigel Oscar Weiss FRS (born 16 December 1936)[1] is an astronomer and mathematician, and leader in the field of astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge.[3][4][5]


Born in South Africa, Weiss studied at Hilton College, Natal, Rugby School and Clare College, Cambridge, and has been a fellow of Clare College since 1965. He read for his PhD in 1961 with a thesis on Variable Hydromagnetic Motions. [2]


In 1987 he became Professor of Mathematical Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge.

Between 2000 and 2002 he was President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and in 2007 was awarded the Gold Medal, the society's highest award.[3]


Weiss has published extensively in the field of mathematical astrophysics, specialising in solar and stellar magnetic fields, astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics and nonlinear dynamical systems.[3]

In 1966 he was the first to demonstrate and describe the process of 'flux expulsion' by which a conducting fluid undergoing rotating motion acts to expel the magnetic flux from the region of motion, a process now known to occur in the photosphere of the Sun and other stars.[6]

Awards and honours[edit]

Weiss was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1992.[1] His nomination reads


  1. ^ a b c "WEISS, Prof. Nigel Oscar". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U39259.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Nigel Weiss at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b c "Nigel Weiss' home page". DAMTP.
  4. ^ Nigel Weiss's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  5. ^ Beer, J. R.; Tobias, S.; Weiss, N. (1998). "An Active Sun Throughout the Maunder Minimum". Solar Physics. 181: 237. Bibcode:1998SoPh..181..237B. doi:10.1023/A:1005026001784.
  6. ^ Weiss, N. O. (1966). "The Expulsion of Magnetic Flux by Eddies". Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 293 (1434): 310. Bibcode:1966RSPSA.293..310W. doi:10.1098/rspa.1966.0173.
  7. ^ "EC/1992/38: Weiss, Nigel Oscar. Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 8 July 2019.