Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Philip J. Morrison
The University of Texas at Austin


"For establishing and shaping the field of structure-preserving geometric algorithms for plasma physics."


Philip J. Morrison received his BA and PhD from UCSD in 1972 and 1979, respectively, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. His PhD advisor was William B. Thompson; his mentor at Princeton was John M. Greene. Since 1981 he has been a Physics faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin and a member of the Institute for Fusions Studies. He has held numerous visiting positions worldwide in physics and mathematics. His research has included both linear and nonlinear tearing modes and the development of a variety of reduced fluid models with gyroviscous and other effects. He is well known for his work on finite- and infinite-dimensional Hamiltonian systems and their variational structure. With collaborators he explained the scenario for the generic break-up of shearless (nontwist) tori and the concomitant renormalization. He is also well known for introducing the noncanonical Poisson bracket formalism in the context of MHD, he obtained such Poisson brackets for very many plasma models, and he introduced metriplectic dynamics, a framework for thermodynamically consistent theories. Professor Morrison has received several teaching awards, became a Fellow of the APS in 1992, and received the Agostinelli Prize from the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei for mathematical physics in 2013 and the Humboldt Forschungspreis career award in 2016. He presently holds the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation Professorship at UT Austin.