Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Tom Witten
University of Chicago


"For outstanding theoretical contributions to the understanding of polymers and complex fluids."


Thomas Witten received his bachelor's degree in physics from Reed College in 1966. He received a PhD in physics in 1971 from the University of California, La Jolla in many-body theoretical physics under Shang-keng Ma. He did a postdoc in condensed matter theory at Princeton University and other renormalized field theory at Saclay, France. Then he joined the physics faculty at University of Michigan. He left Michigan in 1982 to join the Corporate Research lab of the Exxon Corporation. In 1989 he joined the faculty of the Physics Department and the James Franck research institute of the University of Chicago. He is a fellow of the APS and gave the 1999 Paris-Sciences lectures at the École Superieure de Physique et Chemie Industrielles in Paris. He studies statistically structured forms of matter, such as diblock copolymer domain patterns, colloidal aggregates, and crumpled membranes.

Selection Committee:

Scott Milner (Chair), Sonja Krause (12/01), Masao Doi (01 Rcpnt) (12/01), Ralph Colby (Vice Chair) (12/02), Benjamin Chu (12/02)