Alfvén, Hannes Olof Gösta (1908–1995)
Swedish theoretical physicist known for his pioneering research
in the field of magnetohydrodynamics
for which he shared the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics with the Frenchman Louis
Néel. In the 1930s, Alfvén suggested that sunspots
are the result of the Sun's magnetic field becoming temporarily "frozen"
into the solar plasma. In 1942 he proposed
that waves, now known as Alfvén waves, can travel through a plasma
under conditions similar to those in the solar atmosphere. His ideas have
been applied both in stellar astrophysics and to experimental fusion
Alfvén was educated at received his PhD from the University of Uppsala
in 1934. He worked in Sweden until 1967, when he moved to California.