21 June 2010

Leo Kadanoff receives the Niels Bohr Institute's first honorary medal

In celebration of the 125th birthday of Niels Bohr, the Niels Bohr Institute has established a new honorary medal. The award will be given to an especially outstanding international researcher working in the spirit of Niels Bohr: International cooperation and knowledge exchange.

John Renner Hansen presents the Niels Bohr Institute’s honorary medal to Leo Kadanoff
Head of Institute John Renner Hansen presents the Niels Bohr Institute’s honorary medal to Leo Kadanoff.

In recognition and appreciation of Leo Kadanoff's great contributions to the advancement of physics and science in general and for the strong collaboration with researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute, the Niels Bohr Institute has chosen Leo Kadanoff as the first recipient of the Niels Bohr Institute's honorary medal.

Leo P. Kadanoff was born in New York in 1937 and it was there that he received his early education. He received his academic degrees from Harvard University in the period between 1957 and 1960. After a Post doctoral period at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen he joined the University of Illinois in 1962, where he became a professor in physics already in 1965.

DiplomaKadanoff has studied the problems of urban growth. In 1969 he moved to Brown University where he was university professor and simultaneously researched mathematical models for urban growth.

He has delivered groundbreaking and important contributions to many problems in modern physics, especially concerning phase transitions and critical phenomena, as well as in the theory of chaos and complex systems.

Since then, over a period of 40 years, he has been among the leading researchers in the world in the development of modern physics and later became a professor at the University of Chicago and President of the American Physical Society (APS).

In many instances, discoveries by Leo Kadanoff have led to entirely new activities and the e of physics worldwide. In Chicago, Leo Kadanoff has created an excellent school of physics for students and Post docs - a school which is famous worldwide.


Kadanoff is a member of the „National Academy of Sciences", "American Academy of Arts and Sciences", "American Physical Society", as well as the "American Association for the Advancement of Science".

Most recent awards and honours:
Quantrell Award (for teaching) from the University of Chicago
Centennial Medal of Harvard University
Onsager Prize of the American Physical Society
Grande Medaille d'Or of the Academy des Sciences de l'Institut de France
National Medal of Science (U.S.)

Connections to the Institute

1960-61: Postdoc at NBI
1984-87: Mogens Høgh Jensen researches together with Kadanoff's group
1998-99: Lene Broeng Oddershede Postdoc in Kadanoff's group
1990'erne: External board member of NBIfAFG (Niels Bohr Institute for Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics)
2005: Board member of NBIA (Niels Bohr International Academy)

Leo Kadanoff