Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

James R. Wilson
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


"For his work in nuclear astrophysics and numerical work on supernovae core collapse, neutrino transport, and shock propagation. His codes reenergized supernovae shocks, launched numerical relativity and magnetically driven jets."


B.S. degree in chemistry 1942 University of California Berkeley Ph.D. degree in physics 1952 University of California Berkeley

Employment history
Los Alamos Laboratory New Mexico 1944-1946 U.S. Army Sandia Laboratory Albuquerque New Mexico 1952-1953 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Livermore California 1953-now

Significant scientific endeavors
Supernova modeling
Demonstrated the production of high speed jets by the collapse of a magnetized rotating star.
Developed a spherical model for the collapse of massive stars to produce supernova explosions.
Discovered the late time neutrino heating mechanism that produced suicient energy in the supernova explosion.
Gave the output of the supernova calculations to several people with nuclear burn codes to produce r-process nuclei.
Devised a model to explain the supernova remnants observed very close to the galactic black hole. This model arises from the compression of a white dwarf star by general relativistic effects.

Numerical Relativity
Wrote a sperically symmetric general relativistic program that solved the hydrodynamic equations as well as the Boltzmann equation for the neutrinos.
Studied magnetized black holes and showed the extraction of rotational energy and also the possibility of the occurance of highly electrically charged black holes.
Developed a computer model for an inhomogeneous cosmology that only varies in one spatial direction.
Developed a computer model for calculating the structure of close neutron star binaries. The model showed compression of stars as they came close and yielded black hole formation before the final merger.

Nuclear physics
Modeled heavy-ion nuclear collisions and used data to make a high density nuclear equation of state.

Current projects
Make a better supernova model for r-process calculations. Include off-diagonal neutrino oscillations in the supernova model. Attempt to model the "dark energy" induced expansion of universe by the decay of sterile neutrinos.
Developing an inhomogeneous cosmological computer model that includes the decay of neutrinos.

Awards and professional memberships
Marcel Grossman Award 1994
Member American Physical Society Fellow
Member American Astronomical Society

Selection Committee:

Jonathan (Josh) Grindlay (DAP) (Chair), Karl Ernst Rehm (12/06)(DNP), Ernest Henley (rep. 2006 Recipient)(12/06), Robert Tribble (V. Chair)(DNP)(12/07), Dieter Hartmann (DAP)(12/07)