Kenneth Geddes Wilson (June 8, 1936 – June 15, 2013) was an American theoretical physicist and a pioneer in leveraging computers for studying particle physics. He was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on phase transitions—illuminating the subtle essence of phenomena like melting ice and emerging magnetism. It was embodied in his fundamental work on the renormalization group.
Offered here is The 1981 California Institute of Technology Distinguished Alumni Award presented to theoretical physicist Kenneth G. Wilson. Wilson won the Nobel Prize the following year for his work on phase transitions, where matter is converted from a liquid, gas or solid. Since 1966, Caltech has awarded 248 alumni as standouts in science, engineering, business and the arts. Medal has convex front with flat center and reads, ”CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY / THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE”. Flat verso reads, ‘‘DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD’‘ around edge with etched center: ‘‘PRESENTED TO / KENNETH G. WILSON / MAY 16 1981”.
Housed in original wooden case with magnet closure and green felt bottom. Medal weighs 205 grams or just over 7.2 oz. and measures 3” in diameter. Case measures 4.5” x 4.5” x 1”. Some scratching to back, overall very good condition. With an LOA from Kenneth Wilson’s widow.