Leo Kadanoff, leading figure in theoretical physics, 1937-2015

Theoretical physicist Leo Kadanoff, who transformed theory and practice across scientific disciplines, died of respiratory failure on Oct. 26 in Chicago. He was 78.

“Leo was a prodigious scientist,” said his longtime UChicago colleague Sidney Nagel, the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor in Physics. “His work on statistical mechanics is one of the great achievements of 20th-century theoretical physics. It laid the conceptual and mathematical foundations for some of the most insightful and effective tools on which our modern understanding of nature is based.”

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