Nigel Oscar Weiss
16 December 1936
|Died||24 June 2020(aged 83)|
|Alma mater||Clare College, Cambridge|
|Known for||flux expulsion|
|Institutions||University of Cambridge|
|Thesis||Variable Hydromagnetic Motions (1961)|
|Doctoral advisor||Edward Bullard|
|Website||Nigel Weiss' home page|
Nigel Oscar Weiss FRS (16 December 1936 – 24 June 2020) was an astronomer and mathematician, and leader in the field of astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics. He was Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge.
Born in South Africa, Weiss studied at Hilton College, Natal, Rugby School and Clare College, Cambridge, and had been a fellow of Clare College since 1965. He read for his PhD in 1961 with a thesis on Variable Hydromagnetic Motions. 
In 1987 he became Professor of Mathematical Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge.
Weiss published extensively in the field of mathematical astrophysics, specialising in solar and stellar magnetic fields, astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics and nonlinear dynamical systems.
In 1966 he was the first to demonstrate and describe the process of 'flux expulsion' by which a conducting fluid undergoing rotating motion acts to expel the magnetic flux from the region of motion, a process now known to occur in the photosphere of the Sun and other stars.
Awards and honours
Professor Weiss is distinguished for his work in the theory of convection, for developing appropriate numerical techniques, and for pioneering their use in precise numerical experiments to gain a qualitative and comprehensive understanding of the behaviour of complicated nonlinear systems. Among many notable achievements in this field, he has been instrumental in the identification of a period-doubling route to chaos in a system of partial differential equations describing doubly-diffusive convection. He has made wide-ranging studies of the magneto-convective processes occurring in the Sun and similar stars. In early work of lasting influence, he analysed the process of magnetic flux expulsion and the mechanism of concentration of magnetic field into ropes from which fluid motion is excluded. In recent work, he has initiated a program of research in the field of nonlinear compressible convection, an important step towards realistic modelling of stellar convection zones.
- "WEISS, Prof. Nigel Oscar". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U39259.(subscription required)
- "Helen Mason – Nigel Weiss has died". Twitter. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
- Nigel Weiss at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "Nigel Weiss' home page". DAMTP.
- Nigel Weiss's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
- Beer, J. R.; Tobias, S.; Weiss, N. (1998). "An Active Sun Throughout the Maunder Minimum". Solar Physics. 181 (1): 237–249. Bibcode:1998SoPh..181..237B. doi:10.1023/A:1005026001784.
- Weiss, N. O. (1966). "The Expulsion of Magnetic Flux by Eddies". Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 293 (1434): 310–328. Bibcode:1966RSPSA.293..310W. doi:10.1098/rspa.1966.0173.
- "EC/1992/38: Weiss, Nigel Oscar. Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 8 July 2019.