Neil Ashcroft
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Neil Ashcroft
Neil Ashcroft
Ashcroft 2.jpg
Neil William Ashcroft

(1938-11-27)27 November 1938
Died15 March 2021(2021-03-15) (aged 82)
Alma mater
Known forAshcroft and Mermin
AwardsBridgman Award (2003)
Scientific career
ThesisThe Fermi surface and transport properties of metals (1965)
Doctoral advisorJohn Ziman
Doctoral studentsRaymond E. Goldstein,[1][2] Nandini Trivedi, Ard Louis, William A Curtin, Andrew P. Horsefield, Christos N. Likos, Byard Edwards, Jeffrey B. Neaton, Alan R. Denton, Alexander Khein,

Neil William Ashcroft (27 November 1938 - 15 March 2021) was a British solid-state physicist.

Early life and education

Ashcroft was born in London on 27 November 1938, and migrated to New Zealand in 1947.[3] He was educated at Hutt Valley High School, and completed his undergraduate studies at Victoria University College,[3] earning a Bachelor of Science degree, in 1958. He received his PhD in 1964 from the University of Cambridge for research investigating the Fermi surfaces of metals.[4][5]


Following his PhD, Ashcroft completed postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and at Cornell University, where he became a Professor in 1975. In 1990 he was named the Horace White Professor of Physics, and was elected to emeritus status in 2006.

He served as the director for the Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics at Cornell University (1979-1984), the director for the Cornell Center for Materials Research (1997-2000), and as the deputy director for the High Energy Synchrotron Source (1990-1997).[6]

Between 1986 and 1987, he served as the head of the Condensed Matter division of the American Physical Society. His textbook on solid-state physics, written with N. David Mermin, is a standard text in the field.[7][8]

Ashcroft died in Ithaca, New York, on 15 March 2021.[3]

Awards and honours

In 1997, Ashcroft was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.[9]

In 2003, he was awarded the Bridgman Award for his contributions to high-pressure physics. Since that date, he was therefore an honorary member of the AIRAPT.[10]


  1. ^ Goldstein, Raymond Ethan (1988). Studies of phase transitions and critical phenomena: I. Origin of broken particle-hole symmetry in critical fluids. II. Phase transitions of interacting membranes (PhD thesis). Cornell University. OCLC 892818953.
  2. ^ Neil Ashcroft at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ a b c "Neil Ashcroft death notice". Dominion Post. 27 March 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  4. ^ Ashcroft, Neil William (1965). The Fermi surface and transport properties of metals (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 13919109.
  5. ^ Biography of Neil Ashcroft from the American Physical Society
  6. ^ Cornell Physics faculty biography
  7. ^ Solid State Physics. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York NY u. a. 1976, ISBN 0-03-049346-3 .
  8. ^ Smoluchowski, R. (January 1977). "Review: Solid State Physics by N. W. Ashcroft and N. D. Mermin". Physics Today. 30 (1): 61-65. doi:10.1063/1.3037370.
  9. ^ "Member Directory". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "AIRAPT, International Association for the Advancement of High Pressure Science and Technology". AIRAPT. Retrieved .

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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