Russell J. Donnelly


Russell James Donnelly (born 16 April 1930 in Hamilton, Ontario, died 13 June 2015 in Eugene, Oregon) was a Canadian-American physicist known for his work on classical and quantum fluid dynamics.[1][2][3] He connected the fields of low temperature physics and fluid turbulence.[4]

Russell James Donnelly
Born(1930-04-16)April 16, 1930
DiedJune 13, 2015(2015-06-13) (aged 85)
Alma materMcMaster University, Yale University
Spouse(s)Marian Donnelly
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago
Doctoral advisorC. T. Lane and Lars Onsager


Donnelly graduated from McMaster University with a bachelor's degree in 1951 and a master's degree in 1952.[1] In 1956 he received his doctorate from Yale University, with a thesis entitled "On the hydrodynamics of liquid helium". His doctoral advisers were the noted physicists C. T. Lane and Lars Onsager.[4] His PhD work demonstrated that the oscillations of liquid helium in a U-tube at a low temperature could be described by two-phase liquid theory.[1]

In 1956 he became an instructor and later professor at the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago, where he worked with S. Chandrasekhar and Dave Fultz. From 1959 - 1963 he was Sloan Fellow. In 1966 he moved to the University of Oregon,[1] where it was possible for both himself and his wife, art historian Marian Donnelly, to hold positions.[4] He eventually served twice as department chair at the University of Oregon.[1] In 1972 he worked at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. He was also a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Birmingham. He was a consultant at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.[4]

During his life he advised 25 PhD students, and mentored many others, including future Nobel prize winner David Lee.[1] He died from pneumonia on 13 June 2015 in Eugene, Oregon.[1][5]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hammer, Philip W.; Sreenivasan, Katepalli R.; Niemela, Joseph J. (1 October 2015). "Russell James Donnelly". Physics Today. 68 (10): 59–60. Bibcode:2015PhT....68j..59H. doi:10.1063/PT.3.2954.
  2. ^ "Russell J. Donnelly". Archived from the original on 2013-11-23.
  3. ^ "Member in the Spotlight: Russell Donnelly". 1995.
  4. ^ a b c d Niemela, J.j.; Sreenivasan, K.r. (10 March 2022). "Russell Donnelly and His Leaks". Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics. 13 (1): 33–47. doi:10.1146/annurev-conmatphys-050521-033802. ISSN 1947-5454. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Physicist Russ Donnelly, a pioneer in the science of cold, dies at 85". Around the O. University of Oregon. June 16, 2015.
  6. ^ "Fritz London Memorial Prize". Duke University. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Russell J. Donnelly". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  8. ^ "American Academy Elects New Members". Physics Today. 54 (8): 60–61. August 2001. doi:10.1063/1.2405665. ISSN 0031-9228. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  9. ^ "McMaster University Honorary Degree Recipients (Chronological) 1892-Present" (PDF). McMaster University. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  10. ^ "The Lars Onsager Lecture - NTNU". Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Prizes & Awards". Division of Fluid Dynamics. American Physical Society. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  12. ^ "APS Fellow Archive". American Physical Society. Retrieved 21 March 2022.