Hannes Alfvén Autograph

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(1908-1995) Swedish electrical engineer, plasma physicist and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD).


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Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén was born on May 30, 1908 in Norrköping, Sweden. He was a Swedish physicist who is best known for his contributions to plasma physics, magnetohydrodynamics and the study of cosmic plasmas.

Alfvén began his scientific career at the University of Uppsala in 1928, studying theoretical physics and mathematics. After completing his studies in 1933, Alfvén continued his research into plasma physics, which was then a relatively new field of study. Alfvén's work in the field soon earned him recognition and he was appointed professor of electrical engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1939.

In 1942, Alfvén published his famous paper, "On the Origin of Magnetic Fields," which laid the foundation for modern understanding of magnetic fields in plasmas and is now known as "Alfvén's Theorem." He continued to work on plasma physics and in 1944 published his book, "Cosmical Electrodynamics," which discussed the motion of charged particles in plasma and their interactions with magnetic fields. This book is now considered a classic in the field.

In 1970, Alfvén was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to plasma physics. He is also credited with the discovery of Alfvén waves, a type of wave that travels through plasma and is used in medical imaging, astrophysics and other fields. Alfvén also made contributions to the study of cosmic plasmas, helping to explain the formation of stars and galaxies.

Alfvén's work has been highly influential in the fields of space science and astrophysics. His contributions to plasma physics helped to revolutionize the field and opened up new avenues of research. He is remembered as one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century.

Alfvén's legacy lives on today in the form of the Hannes Alfvén Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Physical Society to recognize outstanding contributions to plasma science. He was also the recipient of numerous awards and honors during his lifetime, including the Soviet Union's Lenin Prize in 1967.

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