Lars Onsager: "Biographical Memoirs"

An essay prepared for the National Academy of Sciences is presented on the website of Yale University. (Onsager served as a professor at Yale from 1933-1972.) Authored by H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins and Michael E. Fisher, portions will be unfathomable to those not versed in physics. For example: "The non-equilibrium state itself would be represented by an ensemble that maximized the entropy S subject to the [alpha particle]i  having specified values; the 'forces' conjugate to the [alpha particle]i would be the partial derivatives of S with respect to the displacements...." The article is, however, quite well written, and worth reading even by those who will skip over the technical portions. It captures the essence of this man of extraordinary scientific accomplishment who, typically of Norwegians, eschewed pomposity. It tells of his wit, his humor, and his outlook. This version lacks equations and illustrations. The full version appears, along with articles on other deceased members of the academy,  on the website of the Universal Library Project, located at Carnegie Mellon University. It's slow to load, starting as it does on Page 183. The text will appear well in advance of the graphics. 
Lars Onsager
Biography on the website of The Nobel Foundation. A cover page  recites that Onsager's 1968 prize in chemistry was awarded "for the discovery of the reciprocal relations bearing his name, which are fundamental for the thermodynamics of irreversible processes." The presentation speech by Professor S. Claesson of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is set forth in full. (This biography of Lars Onsager is reproduced on the website the Norwegian University of Technology and Science in Trondheim.) 
Lars Onsager
Brief entry in the "Noted Figures in Physics, Engineering and Astronomy" website of Michael F. Martens. 


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