Competition: US & Canada
Christopher Jarzynski is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. His theoretical research focuses on nonequilibrium phenomena and the application of thermodynamic principles to microscopic systems, with recent interests in quantum control and quantum thermodynamics, the arrow of time, and the physical implications of information processing. In 1996 he derived an equality that relates far-from-equilibrium work to equilibrium free energy differences, a prediction that has subsequently been verified in numerous experiments.
Jarzynski studied physics at Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley. After a postdoctoral position at the Institute for Nuclear Theory in Seattle, he worked for ten years at Los Alamos National Laboratory before joining the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2006. He holds appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, and the Department of Physics. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship (1987), the Sackler Prize in the Physical Sciences (2005), the Lars Onsager Prize (2019), and a Simons Fellowship in Theoretical Physics (2020). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Photo Credit: Lisa Helfert