Laudatio in Physikalische
Blätter 42(1986) Nr. 3
The DPG (German Physical Society) awards the Max-Planck-Medal this year to
Dr. Franz Joachim Wegner, professor of theoretical physics at the
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg for his seminal work on
lattice gauge models and his outstanding contributions to the theory
of phase transitions and to the localisation of electrons in disordered solids.
This is the highest award the German Physical Society is giving out.
This annually awarded price constists of a medal in gold and a
deed written on pergament by hand. It was donated 1929 and
awarded the first time to Max Planck und Albert Einstein the same year.
With his considerations about phase transitions and critical phenomena
Wegner has decisively contributed to the development of the renormalization
group method. Earlier while working on duality he introduced the concept of gauge
invariant Ising models and developed notions which are now
much used in gauge theories for elementary particles.
With his important contributions to solid state physics Franz Wegner
gave an example of how new methods and concepts can
become fruitful for other aereas of theoretical physics as well.
Franz Wegner studied and got his PhD at the Technische Universität München
and after staying for some time at KFA Jülich and the Brown University
Providence, USA, he accepted the offer to come to Heidelberg university.
For his contributions to critical and tri-critical
phenomena he received the Walter-Schottky price in 1976.
(translated to english from the german original)