The Lars Onsager Lecture and Professorship

Lars Onsager Lecture and Professorship, banner

Lars Onsager (1903–1976)

Lars Onsager, 1968Lars Onsager as a student at NTH, 1920Lars Onsager was a Norwegian-American chemist and physicist. Onsager was born in Oslo. He held a Ch.E. degree (1925) from NTH (Norwegian Institute of Technology, later NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

Onsager migrated to the USA in 1928, and became an American citizen in 1945. Onsager was a J. Willard Gibbs Professor at Yale University.

Onsager was awarded the The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1968 for his work done in 1931 on irreversible thermodynamics.


Lars Onsager Lecture 2018

Professor Yves MeyerThe next Lars Onsager Lecture:
Yves Meyer

Professor Yves Meyer, Professor Emeritus at École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, will present the Lars Onsager Lecture 2018:

Professor Meyer received in 2017 the  Abel Prize in mathematics for his pivotal role in the development of the mathematical theory of wavelets.

For further information, please contact Professor Helge Holden, NTNU.

Previous Onsager Lecturers


Lars Onsager Professorship 2018

Professor Eero SaksmanPresent Lars Onsager Professor: 
Eero Saksman

The Lars Onsager Professorship for 2018 has been awarded to Professor Eero Saksman, Professor of Mathematics, University of Helsinki, Finland.

For further information, please contact Professor Kristian Seip, NTNU, or Professor Helge Holden, NTNU.

Prof. Saksman will on April 19, 2018, at 13:14 - 14:00 in Auditorium Kjel 2, Gløshaugen give the lecture

A probabilistic look at the Riemann zeta function

Abstract: The first part of the talk recalls basic properties of the  Riemann zeta function. We also explain its significance to the distribution of prime numbers, which in turn brings us to the famous 'Riemann Hypothesis'. The second part describes surprising probabilistic aspects in the behaviour of the zeta function. This will not only include rigorously established results, but also conjectural ones based on the expected analogy to random matrices.

On this occassion he will receive the Onsager Medal from Geir Egil Øien, Dean of Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Previous Lars Onsager Professors


The Onsager Medal

The Onsager Lecturer and the Onsager Professor receive the Onsager Medal.

The Onsager Medal, obverse and reverse

Artist: Harald Wårvik. Minted by The Mint of Norway (Det Norske Myntverket), Kongsberg, Norway.

The Lars Onsager Archive

Thanks to the generosity of Lars Onsager's sons and daughter, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has established a Lars Onsager Archive.

The Lars Onsager Archive is located at the Dora Library (a repository library for the NTNU University Library) and the Gunnerus Library (the Special Collections of the NTNU University Library) in Trondheim, Norway.

A substantial part of the archive has now been made freely available in digital form:

Lars Onsager Archive

Biographical Material

A general reference to the scientific works of Lars Onsager is:

  • The Collected Works of Lars Onsager (with commentary) 
    P.C. Hemmer, H. Holden, S.K. Ratkje, editors
    World Scientific, Singapore 1996
  • A biography on Lars Onsager (pdf)
    by P.C. Hemmer and E. Hiis Hauge is printed in the book «Norwegian Nobel Prize Laureates», (Olav Njølstad, ed.), Universitetsforlaget, 2006.
  • In Norwegian: Boken er også utgitt på norsk, «Norske nobelprisvinnere», (Olav Njølstad, red.) Universitetsforlaget, 2005.

Lars Onsager in Wikipedia

The Onsager Committee

The Lars Onsager Lecture and the Lars Onsager Professorship are awarded by the Onsager Committee which consists of:

  • Professor Helge Holden (Chairman), Department of Mathematical Sciences, NTNU (01.01.05 - 31.12.10)
  • Professor Arne Brataas, Department of Physics, NTNU (01.09.08 - 31.12.10)

Regulations for the Lars Onsager Lecture and the Lars Onsager Professorship (in Norwegian).

The Nobel Prize 1968

Video at YouTube: King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden, Lars Onsager and other nobilities og prize winners.


Yale University

Lars Onsager, Yale University

Lars Onsager in his office at the Sterling Chemistry Laboratory at Yale University.


Onsager stamp

Lars Onsager on stamp, 2003

Lars Onsager on stamp. Norwegian Post's 2003 series of stamps with Nobel Laureates.