U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Ilya Prigogine and Dissipative Structures

Considered one of the founders of complexity science, Ilya Prigogine received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977 for "his contributions to nonequilibrium thermodynamics, particularly the theories of dissipative structures." According to The Univeristy of Texas at Austin, Prigogine developed the concept of "dissipative structures" to describe the coherent space-time structures that form in open systems in which an exchange of matter and energy occurs between a system and its environment. He was a leader in the fields of nonlinear chemistry and physics, and his research helped create a greater understanding of the role of time in the physical sciences and biology. View the feature on Prigogine at the DOE R&D Accomplishments website and find resources with additional information. DOE R&D Accomplishments is a central forum for information about the outcomes of past DOE R&D that have had significant economic impact, have improved people's lives, or have been widely recognized as remarkable advances in science.

Last updated on Friday 13 September 2013