Royal recognition for ANU Mathematical Physicist

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Professor Rodney Baxter FRS has been awarded a 2013 Royal Medal of the Royal Society for his remarkable exact solutions of fundamental models in statistical mechanics.

The three Royal Medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded annually by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Council of the Society. Frederick Sanger FRS, Max Perutz FRS and Francis Crick FRS are among those who have been awarded a Royal Medal.

Each year two medals are awarded for the most important contributions “to the advancement of Natural Knowledge” in the physical and biological sciences respectively. A third medal is awarded for distinguished contributions in the applied sciences.

It was today announced that Professor Rodney Baxter would be among the recipients for 2013 joining an extremely prestigious list of scientists. Professor Baxter is a renowned mathematical physicist famous for his work in the field of exactly soluble models in statistical mechanics. One of his most influencial pieces of work was his exact calculation in 1971 of the free energy of the so-called 'eight-yertex' model now known as 'Baxter's model', which has led to a fundamental reassessment of the nature of phase transitions in two dimensions. He has repeatedly solved very difficult problems by using original techniques such as the Ising Potts (1973), hard hexagon (1980) and three dimensional Zamolodchikov (1984) models and discovered the 'corner transfer matrix' technique of obtaining the order parameters of models.

Professor Baxter's work has had an impact on not only the fields of statistical mechanics and solid state physics but also in field theory and mathematics.

 

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