The Lars Onsager Lecture and Professorship

The Lars Onsager Lecture and Professorship

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Lars Onsager (1903–1976)

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.

Present Lars Onsager Lecture

Lars Onsager Lecture 2023

Roger Blandford

The 2023 Lars Onsager Lecturer:
Prof. Roger Blandford

Prof. Roger Blandford, FRS, FRAS, is the Luke Blossom Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Professor of Physics and of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at Stanford University, USA. He is well-known for his work on black holes.

He will give his Onsager Lecture and receive the Onsager Medal at NTNU Gløshaugen in S8, Sentralbygg 2, Gløshaugen on Wednesday, 18 October at 10:15–11:30.

The title of his lecture is
Black Holes, Neutron Stars and Extreme Physics
We have long known that the universe is full of black holes, from which light cannot escape and neutron stars, with masses similar to the sun and sizes that would fit comfortably in the Trondheim Fjord. Remarkable discoveries over the past decade have revealed the varied ways in which they behave. They expand the physics of the laboratory and everyday life into new territory characterized by extremes of energy, density, temperature, magnetism and so on. In this lecture I will attempt to explain, in simple language, what we have learned from astronomical observations, and how the study of black holes and neutron stars relates to scientific discoveries made on earth.

Download poster (24MB)

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


Previous Onsager Lecturers

Present Onsager Professor

Lars Onsager Professorship

Maria Helena Godinho

Maria Helena Godinho from Department of Materials Science, NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal, is the 2023 Onsager Professor at NTNU.

She will give a public lecture on Wednesday 23 August 2023 at 11:15–12:00 in R5, Realfagbygget, Gløshaugen, NTNU with the title "Self-organized cellulose-based liquid crystalline systems: a world of opportunities”.

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


Previous Lars Onsager Professors

Onsager medal

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

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

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 Comittee

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
  • Professor Arne Brataas, Department of Physics, NTNU

Regulations for the Lars Onsager Lecture and the Lars Onsager Professorship.

The Nobel Prize 1968

The Nobel Prize 1968

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

Yale University

Yale University

Lars Onsager, Yale University

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

Onsager stamp

Onsager stamp

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