Lars Onsager Prize

To recognize outstanding research in theoretical statistical physics including the quantum fluids. The prize consists of $10,000 as well as a certificate citing the contribution made by the recipient. It was presented annually beginning in 1997.

Establishment & Support

The prize was endowed in 1993 by Drs. Russell and Marian Donnelly in memory of the unique spirit of Lars Onsager and his passion for analytical results.

Rules & Eligibility

Nominations are accepted from all scientists of all nations regardless of geographical location. The prize is open to researchers in statistical physics covering a wide range of physical phenomena, as long as the nominee is active at the time of the award. Nominations are active for three years.

Nomination & Selection Process

Deadline: Monday, June 15, 2020

The nomination package must include:

  • A letter of not more than 5,000 characters evaluating the qualifications of the nominee(s)

In addition, the nomination should include:

  • A biographical sketch
  • A list of the most important publications
  • At least two, but not more than four, seconding letters
  • Up to five reprints or preprints

To start a new or update a continuing nomination, please see the Prize & Award Nomination Guidelines.

2021 Selection Committee Members: Victor Gurarie (Chair, DCMP), Greg Huber (Vice Chair, GSNP), Natan Andrei (DCMP), Dvora Perahia (GSNP), Subir Sachdev ('18 Recipient), Mark Shattuck (GSNP)

Selection Committee Composition

The selection committee is composed of six people: a representative from GSNP serving as the chair, two additional representatives from GSNP, two representatives from DCMP, and the previous recipient. The chair also serves on the Kadanoff selection committee.


Serving a diverse and inclusive community of physicists worldwide is a primary goal for APS. Nominations of qualified women, members of underrepresented minority groups, and scientists from outside the United States are especially encouraged.

Nominees and award and office holders are expected to meet standards of professional conduct and integrity as described in the APS Ethics Guidelines. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or lead to revocation of honors or removal from office.

2020 Recipients

John Toner
University of Oregon

Tamás Vicsek
Eötvös University

Yuhai Tu
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center

Past Recipients

2019: Christopher Jarzynski
2018: Subir Sachdev
2017: Natan Andrei
          Paul B. Wiegmann
2016: Giorgio Parisi
          Marc Mezard
          Riccardo Zecchina
2015: Franz Wegner
2014: Grigory E. Volovik
          Vladimir P. Mineev
2013: Daniel Fisher
2012: Ian Affleck
2011: Alexander A. Belavin
          Alexander B. Zamolodchikov
          Alexander M. Polyakov
2010: Daniel Friedan
          Stephen Shenker
2009: B. Sriram Shastry
2008: Christopher Pethick
          Gordon Baym
          Tin-Lun Ho
2007: A. Brooks Harris
2006: Rodney J. Baxter
2005: Valery L Pokrovsky
2004: John Cardy
2003: Pierre Claude Hohenberg
2002: Anatoly Larkin
2001: Bertrand I. Halperin
2000: David James Thouless
          John Michael Kosterlitz
1999: Chen Ning Yang
1998: Leo P. Kadanoff
1997: Robert H. Kraichnan
1995: Michael E. Fisher