Onsager Medal

Prof. Robert B. Laughlin
Department of Physics
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

The Onsager Medal (not to be confused with the APS Onsager Prize) is a science prize endowed by the sons and daughter of the late scientist and Nobel Laureate Lars Onsager. It honors important work in physics, chemistry or mathematics - the disciplines to which Prof. Onsager made fundamental contributions - and the boundaries between them. It is awarded annually at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

Prof. Laughlin won the Onsager Medal in 2007. He flew to Trondheim in the middle of April - landing there on a glorious spring day that was, unfortunately, anomalously nice. The sky was cloudless, the sun was persistent (Trondheim's latitude is high) and the streams were burbling down to the fjord. It snowed two days later. The ceremony took place on April 16, 2007 in one of the large lecture halls at NTNU, Norway's largest technical university. It was very clean and handsome, as one expects in Scandinavia. The title of his lecture was, "Onsager's Unsolved Problem: Quantum Criticality". Afterward he was treated to a lovely dinner of Norwegian-style nouvelle cuisine down by the waterfront in Trondheim - complete with candlelight and fine wine.