Press release 03/23 - 19.01.2023

Prof. Dr Peter Hänggi awarded the 2023 Lars Onsager Prize

The American Physical Society (APS) has awarded Prof. Dr Peter Hänggi the Lars Onsager prize in recognition of his outstanding research in theoretical statistical physics, including quantum liquids.

Preisträger Professor Hänggi © University of Augsburg

As Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at the University of Augsburg, Professor Hänggi has received the award in recognition of his contributions to the development of the Brownian motor and his pioneering contributions to statistical non-equilibrium physics, relativistic thermodynamics, and quantum thermodynamics.

Hänggi’s research includes ground-breaking contributions on the beneficial role of fluctuations, normal and anomalous diffusion in confined geometries, and thermal transfer in nanomaterials. Especially noteworthy are his original Brownian motor concept, his original contributions to stochastic resonance and its important applications in physics and medicine, to dissipative and time-dependent driven quantum tunnelling, to the characterisation of relativistic Brownian

motion and relativistic thermodynamics, as well as his recent contributions on the foundations of quantum thermodynamics in and far from equilibrium. In collaboration with experimental groups, his research has also found its way into two patents: one on optimal signal recognition using stochastic resonance (Controlled Stochastic Resonance, US Patent 6, 285, 249 B1) and the other on the separation of micro- and nanoparticles or cells using his Brownian motor concept (PCT Europe, USA, Japan: EP 00/01 369; German Patent: 199 07 564).

About Professor Hänggi

Peter Hänggi studied at the University of Basel, Switzerland (1970–1977; B.Sc. 1972; M.Sc. 1974; Ph.D. 1977). In his doctoral thesis he investigated the temporal development, dynamic symmetries, non-equilibrium fluctuation theorems, as well as response theory of stochastic processes far from thermal equilibrium. He spent his post-doctoral years at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the experimental working group of Prof. Hans Frauenfelder, at the University of Stuttgart with Prof. Hermann Haken, at the University of California San Diego, and was assistant professor and associate professor at the Polytechnic Institute New York, USA from 1980 to 1986. From 1986 to March 2019, he was full professor at the University of Augsburg. He has continued to work as an emeritus professor since April 2019.

Awards and Prizes

This internationally outstanding, highly prestigious award for statistical physics is another addition to Hänggi’s already extensive list of scientific awards. The most important of these are:

  • the Jens Lindhard Lecture Prize of Aarhus University (2010),
  • the Lars Onsager Lecture and Onsager Medal of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2011),
  • the Blaise Pascal Medal of the European Academy of Sciences (2018),
  • the Smoluchowski Medal of the Jagiellonian University Kraków (2006),
  • and the Marian von Smoluchowski Emil Warburg Prize (2019), jointly awarded by the German and Polish Physical Societies.

Peter Hänggi has also been awarded more than ten honorary doctorates and is an elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the Academy of Europe, the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC), and the Romanian Academy.

The 2023 Lars Onsager Prize

The 2023 Lars Onsager Prize will be honoured at this year’s general APS March conference to be held in Las Vegas on the 8th of March with an invitation to provide a keynote address as part of the awards session. It will be held jointly with the Division of Condensed Matter Physics (APS-DCMP) and the Division of Statistical and Nonlinear Physics (APS-GSNP).


Further information on the award can be found on the APS website:

Further information about Prof. Hänggi’s research can be found on his website:

Scientific contact

retired professor
Theoretical Physics I
Theoretical Physics I

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