In the 1960s, Leo Kadanoff made innovative and original contributions to the understanding of phase changes, such as the change of water from liquid to ice. In later years, working in collaboration with students, junior scientists and colleagues, he helped construct a new field of knowledge called soft condensed-matter physics, which deals with such phenomena as the flow of fluids and the behavior of granular materials. He has been especially interested in how complexity arises from simple phenomena, such as avalanches forming from the forces that are transmitted from grain to grain in sand.
Dr. Kadanoff's contributions have included using computer models and simplified conceptual models for better understanding the world.
Dr. Kadanoff received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1960. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1999.
Information as of 1999