Freeman J. Dyson
Wolf Prize Laureate in Physics 1981
The Prize Committee for Physics has unanimously decided that the Wolf Prize for 1981 should be equally divided among Freeman J. Dyson ,Gerard T. Hooft and Victor J. Weisskopf.
Freeman J. Dyson
Institute for Advanced Study
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
“for their outstanding contributions to theoretical physics, especially in the development and application of the quantum theory of, fields.”
Professor Freeman J. Dyson is noted for major contributions to many different areas of physics and technology in which he has made effective use of his deep knowledge of mathematics. In early work, he showed that the apparently different approaches of Tomonaga, Schwinger and Feynman to quantum electrodynamics were internally consistent and led to the same results. Shortly after he proved that divergences of the theory would be removed in every order of perturbation theory by incorporating them in the renormalized charge and mass of electron. In these works, Dyson developed an elegant mathematical method, based on the V-matrix, which has become basic to more general field theories as well as to the many-body problem, of the physics of condensed matter.
In classic work with A. Lenard, he proved the stability of matter that the attractive force between electrons and the positive nuclei does not cause matter to collapse. In another area, on the analyticity of scattering amplitudes, he obtained results fundamental to dispersion theory methods for scattering problems. His wide-ranging interests extend from biology to astrophysics, including such technological areas as nuclear reactors and solar energy. Through his writings, he has contributed greatly to the public understanding of science.