The Fate of Ernst Ising and the Fate of his Model

T. Ising, R. Folk, R. Kenna, B. Berche, Yu Holovatch

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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On this, the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the “Ising Lectures” in Lviv (Ukraine), we give some personal reflections about the famous model that was suggested by Wilhelm Lenz for ferromagnetism in 1920 and solved in one dimension by his PhD student, Ernst Ising, in 1924. That work of Lenz and Ising marked the start of a scientific direction that, over nearly 100 years, delivered extraordinary successes in explaining collective behaviour in a vast variety of systems, both within and beyond the natural sciences. The broadness of the appeal of the Ising model is reflected in the variety of talks presented at the Ising lectures ( over the past two decades but requires that we restrict this report to a small selection of topics. The paper starts with some personal memoirs of Thomas Ising (Ernst’s son). We then discuss the history of the model, exact solutions, experimental realisations, and its extension to other fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3002
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Physical Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • History of physics
  • Ising model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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