SIAM AG on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions


Extract from OP-SF NET

Topic #19  ---------------  OP-SF NET  ---------------- November 15, 1996
From: Richard Askey 
Subject: The Collected Works of Lars Onsager

"The Collected Works of Lars Onsager", editors P.C. Hemmer, H. Holden and
S. Kjelstrup Ratkje, World Scientific, Singapore, New Jersey, London
and Hong Kong, 1996.

Onsager's unpublished Ph.D. thesis is printed here.  The title is
"Solutions of the Mathieu equation of period 4 pi and certain related

The biographical memoir on Onsager by C. Longuet-Higgins and M. Fisher is
fascinating.  Before he started, at 17, to study chemical engineering
at Norges Tekniske Hoiskole in Trondheim, Onsager had bought a copy of
Whittaker and Watson's "Modern Analysis" and worked through most of the
problems.  It remained a favorite of his, and the elliptic functions he
learn there were used in his solution of the two dimensional Ising model. 

Further information on Onsager and many very interesting stories were also
given in J. Statistical Physics, vol 78 (1995), no. 1-2. 

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