Uriel Frisch

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Uriel Frisch (born in Agen, in France, on December 10, 1940)[1] is a French mathematical physicist known for his work on fluid dynamics and turbulence.


From 1959 to 1963 Frisch was a student at the École Normale Supérieure. Early in his graduate studies, he became interested in turbulence, under the mentorship of Robert Kraichnan, a former assistant to Albert Einstein.[2] Frisch earned a Ph.D. in 1967 from the University of Paris, and since then he has worked at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He retired in 2006, and became a director of research emeritus at CNRS.[1][3]

Frisch's wife Hélène is also a physicist, and the granddaughter of mathematician Paul Lévy.[4]


Frisch is the author of a 1995 book on turbulence[5] and of over 200 research publications.

One of his most cited works, published in 1986, concerns the lattice gas automaton method of simulating fluid dynamics using a cellular automaton. The method used until that time, the HPP model, simulated particles moving in axis-parallel directions in a square lattice, but this model was unsatisfactory because it obeyed unwanted and unphysical conservation laws (the conservation of momentum within each axis-parallel line). Frisch and his co-authors Hasslacher and Pomeau introduced a model using instead the hexagonal lattice which became known as the FHP model after the initials of its inventors and which much more accurately simulated the behavior of actual fluids.[6][7]

Frisch is also known for his work with Giorgio Parisi on the analysis of the fine structure of turbulent flows,[8] for his early advocacy of multifractal systems in modeling physical processes,[9] and for his research on using transportation theory to reconstruct the distribution of matter in the early universe.[10][11]

Awards and honors[edit]

Frisch won the Peccot Prize of the Collège de France for his doctoral thesis in 1967, the Bazin Prize of the French Academy of Sciences in 1985, and the Lewis Fry Richardson Medal of the European Geosciences Union "for his fundamental contributions to the understanding of turbulence" in 2003.[1][12] He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences since 2008.[1][13] He is an Officier of the Ordre national du Mérite and the recipient of the 2010 Modesto Panetti e Carlo Ferrari prize.[14]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Frisch, U.; Hasslacher, B.; Pomeau, Y. (1986), "Lattice-gas automata for the Navier-Stokes equation", Phys. Rev. Lett., 56 (14): 1505–1508, Bibcode:1986PhRvL..56.1505F, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.56.1505, PMID 10032689.
  • Frisch, Uriel (1995). Turbulence. The legacy of A. N. Kolmogorov. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-45103-5. MR 1428905.[15]
  • Frisch, U.; Matarrese, S.; Mohayaee, R; Sobolevski, A. (2002). "A reconstruction of the initial conditions of the universe by optimal mass transportation". Nature. 417 (6886): 260&ndash, 262. arXiv:astro-ph/0109483. Bibcode:2002Natur.417..260F. doi:10.1038/417260a. PMID 12015595.


  1. ^ a b c d Les Membres de l’Académie des sciences élus en 2008 et 2009, retrieved 2012-03-05.
  2. ^ Renowned Turbulence Expert Uriel Frisch visits PKU:Hold onto Turbulence Tightly Like a "Bulldog", Peking University, 2009, retrieved 2012-03-05.
  3. ^ Curriculum vitae, retrieved 2012-03-05.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Laurent (2001), A mathematician grappling with his century, Springer, p. 141, ISBN 978-3-7643-6052-8.
  5. ^ Frisch 1995.
  6. ^ Frisch, Hasslacher & Pomeau 1986.
  7. ^ Wilson, Greg (October 8, 1988), "The life and times of cellular automata", New Scientist: 44–47.
  8. ^ Jaffard, Stéphane; Meyer, Yves; Ryan, Robert Dean (2001), Wavelets: Tools for Science & Technology, SIAM, p. 127, ISBN 978-0-89871-448-7.
  9. ^ Woyczyński, Wojbor A. (2001), "Lévy processes in the physical sciences", Lévy processes, Boston, MA: Birkhäuser Boston, pp. 241–266, MR 1833700. See especially p. 262.
  10. ^ Ball, Philip (16 May 2002), "Cosmic wrinkles smoothed: A new technique could reconstruct images of the early Universe", Nature, doi:10.1038/news020513-6.
  11. ^ Frisch et al. 2002.
  12. ^ EGS Lewis Fry Richardson Medallist - 2003, retrieved 2012-03-05.
  13. ^ "Uriel Frisch". French Academy of Sciences.
  14. ^ "Modesto Panetti e Carlo Ferrari prize". Italian Academy of Sciences.
  15. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (8 November 1996), "Of cream and clouds (review of Faber's Fluid Dynamics for Physicists and Frisch's Turbulence)", Times Higher Education

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]