Year of Award: 1974
Award: Chauvenet Prize, and also the Lester Ford Award in 1973
Publication Information: The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 79 (1972), pp. 227-241
Summary: This paper describes the origin of the governing equations for the theory of propagation of shock waves, some of the striking phenomena, and a few of the mathematical tools used to analyze them.
About the Author: (from The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 79 (1972)) Peter D. Lax received his Ph.D. at New York University under K. Friedrichs and has spent most of his academic career at New York University, where he is presently a professor. He is a frequent summer visitor at Stanford and the Los Alamos Scientific Lab. His research contributions in partial differential equations, linear and non-linear problems of mathematical physics, computing, and functional analysis have had a profound impact. He was a Fulbright lecturer in 1958, he is a Vice-President of the AMS, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, he was an AMS Gibbs lecturer, and he received an MAA Lester Ford Award. He is co-author with R. Phillips of Scattering Theory (Academic Press, 1967).