Edward Norton Lorenz

  • From:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Year:

    1989

  • Subject:

    Physics

  • Award:

    Cresson

  • Citation:

    For interpretation of dynamical chaos in physical systems.

Born in Connecticut in 1917, Edward Norton Lorenz earned an A.B. in mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1938 and a Sc.D. in meteorology from M.I.T. in 1948. Dr. Lorenz became a professor at M.I.T. in 1962, and spent 19 years in this position until becoming Professor Emeritus in 1981.

A leading theoretical meteorologist, Dr. Lorenz was a pioneer in the new major area of scientific study known as "deterministic chaos," leading to what he termed "the butterfly effect," in which a minute change in an initial state may result in a huge difference in a future state. His discovery of deterministic chaos has applications in many fields ranging from pure mathematics to physics, engineering, chemistry, biology, economics, geology, and his own field of atmospheric science.

Information as of 1989