Lars Onsager

Facts

Lars Onsager

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Lars Onsager

Born: 27 November 1903, Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway

Died: 5 October 1976, Coral Gables, FL, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of the reciprocal relations bearing his name, which are fundamental for the thermodynamics of irreversible processes."

Prize share: 1/1

Work

Thermodynamics is about heat and its conversion into other forms of energy - basically involving statistical descriptions of atomic and molecular movements. Irreversible thermodynamic processes go in only one direction and not in the reverse. Lars Onsager analyzed mathematical equations for various irreversible thermodynamic processes and in 1931 found the connection that led him to formulate equations that came to be known as reciprocal relations. This allowed a complete description of irreversible processes.

To cite this section
MLA style: Lars Onsager – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Tue. 25 Sep 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/1968/onsager/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.