Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén was born in Norrköping, Sweden, in 1908. His parents Johannes Alfvén and Anna-Clara Romanus were both practising physicians. Hannes Alfvén studied at Uppsala University from 1926, he obtained the degree of doctor of philosophy in 1934, in this same year he was appointed lecturer in physics at Uppsala University. In 1937 he became research physicist at the Nobel Institute for Physics in Stockholm, in 1940 he was appointed Professor in the Theory of Electricity at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Professor of Electronics in 1945, and Professor of Plasma Physics in 1963. Since 1967 he is visiting professor of Physics at the University of California at San Diego.
In 1935 Hannes Alfvén married Kerstin Maria Erikson, they have five children: Cecilia, Inger, Gösta, Reidun and Berenike.
Professor Alfvén published a number of papers in physics and astrophysics, and the following monographs: Cosmical Electrodynamics, 1948; Origin of the Solar System, 1956; and together with C.-G. Fälthammar, Cosmical Electrodynamics, Fundamental Principles, 1963.
From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1963-1970, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972
This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.
Hannes Alfvén died on April 2, 1995.
Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1970