WILSON (Wilson), Kenneth G.( The American physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1982)
Comments for WILSON (Wilson), Kenneth G.
Biography WILSON (Wilson), Kenneth G.
born June 8, 1936
American physicist Kenneth Geddes Wilson was born in Waltham (Mass.) and was the eldest of four children, Emily (nee Bekkingem) Wilson and Edgar Bright Wilson, Jr.. His father, an expert on microwave spectroscopy, taught chemistry at Harvard University. His early education in. received in private schools in Massachusetts. He was especially gifted in mathematics and later recalled that while waiting for school bus, amused extracting cube roots in the mind. After a year in school when Magdalenkolledzhe in Oxford (England), then graduated from the Quaker George School in Pennsylvania in 1952. Entered Harvard University at age 16, he studied mathematics and physics and received a bachelor's degree there in 1956,. He then completed graduate work in quantum field theory under the guidance of Murray Gell-Mann at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), received his doctorate in 1961. His doctoral thesis was called 'Study of the equation Lowe and Chew-Mandelstam equations' ( "An Investigation of the Low Equation and the Chew Mandelshtam Equations"). V. posledissertatsionnoy was awarded a scholarship to Harvard, then received a scholarship from the Ford Foundation (1962 ... 1963) for the work at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). In 1963, Mr.. he joined the physics department at Cornell University, where he became professor in 1970
In his early work on elementary particles and interactions between them,. used a mathematical technique called renormalization, which is suggested by Gell-Mann, Lowe (colleague Murray Gell-Mann at Caltech) and others to overcome some difficulties in quantum electrodynamics. With direct application of quantum theory to the behavior of elementary particles had to deal with such inconvenient quantities as infinite charge. Gell-Mann and Low renormalization group was used in order to modify the mathematical representation, for example, point particles such as electrons, to remove obstacles to further applications of the theory. V. made a contribution to this theory, deciding in his doctoral dissertation challenge of K-mesons (kaons). At Cornell University in part due to the work of their colleagues, Michael Fischer and Benjamin Uaydoma he became interested in critical phenomena, bearing in mind further applications of renormalization groups.
. Critical phenomena - is a special behavior of materials under certain external conditions (eg temperature and pressure) when the material properties vary sharply
. These special conditions are called critical point. For example, if you take the water temperature at which the liquid hardens or becomes a vapor, depending on the pressure. When boiling liquid and vapor co-exist, and if they are kept in a confined space, we can say that they are in equilibrium, they are usually easy to distinguish because they have a huge difference in the density. However, . when the boiling point rises with the pressure, . density of the fluid decreases with increasing temperature, . because the liquid expands (the pressure is only slightly tightens the water), . whereas steam (gas) strongly compressed and becomes denser,
. If you increase the heat to maintain the boiling point when the pressure increases, we eventually reach the point (pressure of 219 atmospheres, the temperature of 374 б? C), when the two densities become equal and boiling disappears. It is now impossible to separate the liquid from vapor, and the question itself loses its usual meaning. These values of pressure and temperature determine the critical point of water. Another example of the critical point gives the temperature (called the Curie point by the name of Pierre Curie), below which the ferromagnetic material begins to spontaneously magnetized and above which it remains nenamagnichennym. If a magnet is heated above the Curie point, it loses its magnetic properties and not 'remember' its initial state, when it will cool again. Critical phenomenon was first systematically studied in the 1860-ies. carbon dioxide.
Systems with critical points have a special bond between interactions at very short distances (micro) and macrocharacteristics body. In the case of water Microscale phenomena are reduced to the movement of molecules and intermolecular attraction. In the case of the magnets determines the ability of elementary magnets is associated with the spins of electrons, to influence its neighbors, encouraging them to a specific ordering. Near the critical point, these ordinary exposure increases many times in size, which leads to an agreed makropovedeniyu. Quantitative understanding of critical phenomena faced with the complexity of a large number of independent microinteractions (degrees of freedom) and operating at greater distances, the correlations between different areas, . which eventually cover all the material body,
. The values fluctuate from point to point and from region to region, forming many different levels of interaction, or the quantities of scale.
. Scientists have moved aggressively to the problem, trying to find ways that would reduce complexity within acceptable limits, without violating the validity of the theory
. In 1937, Mr.. Russian physicist Lev Landau proposed a method called the theory of averaging of the field, for the case with the magnets, in which he averaged fluctuations of the magnetization, assuming that the fluctuations are significant only at the atomic level. In 1944, Mr.. Norwegian-American chemist Lars Onsager found a quantitative solution for two-dimensional model, which allowed him to calculate the magnetic properties, and also to show the error of the Landau theory. As a result, it became necessary to create a new, more general theory. In 1965, Mr.. Wyden suggested that the change of scale interactions near the critical point must not violate the fairness of the mathematical description. In 1966, Mr.. American physicist Leo Kadanoff proposed to divide the ferromagnetic system near the critical point in the cell, each of which contained a small number of magnets, the atomic level, and cell size would determine the magnitude scale. Other scientists have also contributed to a possible solution to this problem. But it is the application. renormalization group theory has a successful method to describe the behavior near the critical point and allowed to find quantitative estimates of the properties of the system with the help of computers.
In fact, in. broke the system into blocks, arranged like a grid, as did Kadanoff. Starting with small scale and large number of small blocks, he applied the averaging procedure. Then, gradually increasing scale and size of the blocks, he repeated this procedure over and over again until, until it came down to the final presentation, which gave the numerical results are consistent with experimental data. At each step fluctuations on a smaller scale were averaged and the fluctuations of greater magnitude approaching that to include the entire system. He also found that the system near its critical points can be characterized by a small number of parameters, with a universal. In other words, the same parameters can be used for calculations of Conduct surprisingly large number of other systems. Later. and Fisher have developed some aspects of this method further, increasing its value.
Other physicists quickly recognized the importance of achieving in. Landau called critical phenomena the most important unsolved problem of theoretical physics, and himself in. later said that the tasks on which to apply his method, belonged to the most difficult in physics. 'If it were not so, - he explained - that they would have decided with the help of more simple methods much earlier. "
In. was awarded in 1982. Nobel Prize in Physics "for the theory of critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions'. When presenting the winner Stig Lundquist, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in his speech congratulated in. with its 'elegant and deep' solution to the problem of phase transitions. Razultaty received VA, he said, 'have given a complete theoretical description of the behavior near the critical point, and also led to the numerical methods to find critical values. In the decade elapsed since the publication of his first works - continued to Lundquist, the complete triumph of his ideas and methods has confirmed the life itself '.
. Practical application of renormalization can be expected in areas, . as leakage of fluid through the solid, . freezing, . distribution of cracks in metals and oil flow in underground reservoirs, . which the complex microscopic physical processes that occur in macroscopic effects,
. In recent years,. tries to apply their methods to the theory of quarks - the particles, which are believed Gell-Mann, serve as building blocks for protons, neutrons and other sub-atomic particles, previously considered elementary.
Since 1976, Mr.. V. focuses on computer modeling. Upon discovering that his theoretical work is limited by the speed and memory of modern computers, he began to advocate the creation of supercomputer centers, serving scientists.
In 1982, Mr.. V. married to Alison Brown, a specialist in computers Cornell Computer Services. Former amateur musician who played the oboe, he likes folk dancing and hiking trips. He describes himself as a 'workaholic, who sees a lot of opportunities especially their weight'.
In. is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among his awards: Danny Heineman Prize of the American Physical Society (1973), Wolf Foundation Wolf Prize (1980), which he shared with Fisher and Kadanoffom and honors graduate of California Institute of Technology (1981). He has an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University