Joel Lebowitz

Joel Lebowitz

Joel L. Lebowitz (born May 10, 1930 in Taceva) is a Jewish mathematical physicist widely acknowledged for his outstanding contributions to statistical physics, statistical mechanics and many other fields of Mathematics and Physics. He has been awarded several honors, such as the Boltzmann Medal (1992), the Henri Poincaré Prize (2000), the Nicholson Medal (1994) awarded by the American Physical Society, the Volterra Award (2001), Max-Planck Medal (2007), and many others [] . David Ruelle has defined Joel Lebowitz as the "soul of statistical mechanics".

Joel Lebowitz has published more than four hundred papers concerning statistical physics and science in general, and he is one of the founders and editors of the Journal of Statistical Physics, one of the most important journal concerning the scientific research in this area. He has been president of the New York Academy of Sciences, and is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

Joel Lebowitz is the George William Hill Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Rutgers University. He is also an active member of the human rights community and a long-term co-Chair of the Committee of Concerned Scientists. [ [ Committee of Concerned Scientists, Leadership List] . Committee of Concerned Scientists. Accessed June 28, 2008.]


Joel Lebowitz was born in Taceva, then in Czechoslovakia, now Ukraine, in 1930. During the second world war he was deported with his family to Auschwitz, where his father, his mother, and his younger sister were killed in 1944. After being liberated from the camp, he moved to United States by boat, and he studied in an orthodox Jewish school, at Brooklyn College, and at Syracuse University. Here he got a PhD in 1956 under the supervision of Peter G. Bergmann. Then he continued his research with Lars Onsager, at Yale University, where he got a faculty position. He moved to the Stevens Institute of Technology in 1957 and to the Belfer Graduate School of Science of Yeshiva University in 1959. Finally he got a faculty position at Rutgers University in 1977, where he holds the prestigious "George William Hill Professor" position. During his years at the Yeshiva University and Rutgers University he has been in contact with several scientists, and artists, like Fumio Yoshimura and Kate Millett. In 1975 he founded the Journal of Statistical Physics. In 1979 he was president of the New York Academy of Sciences. He has been one of the most active supporters of dissident scientists in the former Soviet Union, especially refusenik scientists.

Contributions to science

Joel Lebowitz has had many important contributions to statistical mechanics and mathematical physics. He proved, along with Elliott Lieb, that the Coulomb interactions obey the thermodynamic limit. He also established what are now known as Lebowitz inequalities for the ferromagnetic Ising model. His current interests are in problems of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.

On a more administerial note, he founded the Journal of Statistical Physics in 1975, which happens to be one of the most important journals in the field. Professor Lebowitz continues to host the biannual series of conferences held, first at Yeshiva University and later at Rutgers University, a staggering total of 99 times.


External links

* [ His home page]
* [ Statistical Mechanics Meeting]
* [ The "laudatio for Joel L. Lebowitz" held by David Ruelle]
* [ The Boltzmann Award 1992]
* [ Some pictures of Joel Lebowitz]

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