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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1977
Ilya Prigogine

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Ilya Prigogine - Facts

Ilya Prigogine

Ilya Prigogine

Born: 25 January 1917, Moscow, Russia

Died: 28 May 2003, Brussels, Belgium

Affiliation at the time of the award: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA

Prize motivation: "for his contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theory of dissipative structures"

Field: chemical thermodynamics, physical chemistry

Prize share: 1/1

Work

Thermodynamics is about heat and its transformation into other forms of energy - basically involving statistical descriptions of atomic and molecular movements. Irreversible thermodynamic processes go in only one direction, usually toward more disorder. However, during the 1960s Ilya Prigogine developed a theory about dissipative structures, which maintains that long before a state of equilibrium is reached in irreversible processes, orderly and stable systems can arise from more disordered systems. The result has been applied in a great many areas.

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