Hannes Alfvén


Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1970

Born: 30 May 1908, Norrköping, Sweden

Died: 2 April 1995, Djursholm, Sweden

Affiliation at the time of the award: Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Prize motivation: "for fundamental work and discoveries in magnetohydro-dynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics."

Prize share: 1/2


The phenomenon of aurora borealis occurs when bursts of charged particles from the sun collide with the earth's magnetic field. These jets of particles are an example of a special state of matter - plasma. Plasma is a gas comprised of electrons and ions (electrically charged atoms) that forms at high temperatures. From the late 1930s onward, Hannes Alfvén developed a theory about aurora borealis, which led to magneto-hydrodynamics; the theory of the relationships between a plasma's movements, electric currents and fields, and magnetic fields.

To cite this section
MLA style: Hannes Alfvén – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Sat. 15 Dec 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1970/alfven/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.