H. Eugene Stanley (born in Oklahoma City, 1941) is an American physicist and University Professor at Boston University. He has made seminal contributions to statistical physics and is one of the pioneers of interdisciplinary science. His current research focuses on understanding the anomalous behavior of liquid water, but he had made fundamental contributions to complex systems, such as quantifying correlations among the constituents of the Alzheimer brain, and quantifying fluctuations in noncoding and coding DNA sequences, interbeat intervals of the healthy and diseased heart. He is one of the founding fathers of econophysics.
Stanley obtained his B.A. in physics at Wesleyan University in 1962.
Stanley was a Miller Fellow at University of California, Berkeley with Charles Kittel, where he wrote an Oxford monograph Introduction to Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena which won the Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Book of 1971.
Stanley was appointed Assistant Professor of Physics at MIT in 1969 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1971. We was appointed Hermann von Helmholtz Associate Professor in 1973, in recognition of his interdepartmental teaching and research with the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. In 1976, Stanley joined Boston University as Professor of Physics, and Associate Professor of Physiology (in the School of Medicine). In 1978 and 1979, he was promoted to Professor of Physiology and University Professor, respectively. Since 2007 he holds joint appointments with the Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering Departments.
Stanley had fundamental contributions to several topics in statistical physics, such as the theory of phase transitions, percolation, disordered systems, aggregation phenomena, polymers, econophysics and biological physics. His early work introduced the n-vector model of magnetism and its exact solution in the limit n infinity, topics that are now part of standard statistical physics textbooks.
His seminal work on liquid water started with a percolation model he developed with Texeira to explain the experimentally observed anticorrelations in entropy and volume [H. E. Stanley and J. Teixeira, “Interpretation of The Unusual Behavior of H2O and D2O at Low Temperatures: Tests of a Percolation Model” J. Chem. Phys. 73, 3404–3422 (1980)]. In 1992 he developed the liquid-liquid critical point hypothesis, that offered a quantitative understanding of water’s anomalies, applying to all liquids with tethrahedral symmetry (like silicon, silica) [P. H. Poole, F. Sciortino, U. Essmann, and H. E. Stanley, “Phase Behavior of Metastable Water” Nature 360, 324–328 (1992).] Direct experimental proof for his proposal was obtained by recent experiments in Tsukuba and MIT.
Stanley coined the term ‘econophysics’ in 1994 to denote the field of physics dealing with economic phenomenon. His group has found empirical laws governing economic fluctuations, and proposed statistical mechanics models to explain their origins. His publications have received 40,017 citations [33,412 to articles and 6605 to books] and his Hirsch index is h = 91. Two of his papers were reproduced in The Physical Review, The First Hundred Years: A Selection of Seminal Papers and Commentaries.
Stanley is committed to education at all levels, from high school to graduate studies. He has served as thesis advisor to 96 Ph. D. students and has collaborated with 102 postdoctoral fellows and visiting faculty. He is also active in worldwide efforts for achieving gender balance in the physical sciences.
Stanley has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2004), the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He is an Honorary Member of the Hungarian Physical Society and he is currently Honorary Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Pavia (Pavia, Italy), and at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary).
For his contributions to phase transitions Stanley received the 2004 Boltzmann Medal, awarded by International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), and the American Physical Society 2008 Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize.
He was awarded the Teresiana Medal in Complex Systems Research given by the University of Pavia. He also received the Distinguished Teaching Scholar Director's Award from the National Science Foundation, the Nicholson Medal for Human Outreach from the American Physical Society, a Guggenheim Fellowship (1979), the David Turnbull Prize from the Materials Research Society (1998), a BP Venture Research Award, the Floyd K. Richtmyer Memorial Lectureship Award (1997), the Memory Ride Award for Alzheimer Research, and the Massachusetts Professor of the Year awarded by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
Stanley received five Doctorates Honoris Causa, from Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan, Israel), Eotvos Lorand University (Budapest). University of Liège (Belgium), University of Dortmund, and University of Wroclaw.