Lars Onsager, Norwegian-US chemist

Lars Onsager, Norwegian-US chemist


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Lars Onsager (1903-1976), Norwegian-US chemist. Onsager was educated in Norway, and then worked in Switzerland until moving to the USA in 1928. His academic career was unorthodox: his theoretical research was brilliant, but his students struggled to understand him, and his PhD thesis (1935) was initially only understood by mathematicians. From 1933, he worked at Yale University. He became a US citizen in 1945. Onsager was awarded the 1968 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on what are called the Onsager recipricol relations, which are a fundamental part of the thermodynamics of irreversible processes.

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