THE 1993 WOLF FOUNDATION PRIZE IN PHYSICS
The Prize Committee for Physics has unanimously decided that the Prize for 1993 be awarded to:
Benoit B. Mandelbrot
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center
Yorktown Heights, N.Y., USA
by recognizing the widespread occurrence of fractals and developing mathematical tools for describing them, he has changed our view of nature.
Dr. Benoit B. Mandelbrot´s work has opened up an entirely new field of scientific endeavour. Starting with his classic 1967 paper, 'How Long is the Coast of Britain? Self Similarity and Fractional Dimension', Mandelbrot has concerned himself with complex structures that appear to repeat themselves when examined on successively finer and finer scales. He has extensively developed the concept of non-integral dimensions,
earlier considered a mathematical abstraction, and has shown that they can have real physical meaning and practical application. His research has opened up quantitative methods for the study of intricate realistic geometries and has transformed our view of nature.
The idea of statistical self-similarity, involving structures that Mandelbrot has termed 'fractals', has been successfully applied to diverse fields of research including aggregates and amorphous materials, fluid turbulence, percolation, clouds, galaxies, computer color graphics, maps and landscapes, white noise and random notion, catalysts, complex proteins, and even economics.
For his single-handed initiation of a new field of science, for recognizing the implications and applications to physics and to other scientific disciplines, and for developing the mathematical tools appropriate to these studies, it is unanimously recommended that Benoit B. Mandelbrot be awarded the Physics Prize for 1993.