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Arthur M. Jaffe
Arthur Jaffe.jpg
Arthur Jaffe at his office in 2005
Born (1937-12-22) December 22, 1937 (age 84)
Alma materPrinceton University
Clare College, Cambridge
Scientific career
FieldsMathematical physics
InstitutionsHarvard University
Doctoral advisorArthur Wightman
Doctoral studentsEzra Getzler
Joel Feldman
Clifford Taubes

Arthur Michael Jaffe (/ˈæfi/; born December 22, 1937) is an American mathematical physicist at Harvard University, where in 1985 he succeeded George Mackey as the Landon T. Clay Professor of Mathematics and Theoretical Science.[1]

Education and career

After graduating from Pelham Memorial High School in 1955,[2] Jaffe attended Princeton University as an undergraduate obtaining a degree in chemistry in 1959, and later Clare College, Cambridge, as a Marshall Scholar, obtaining a degree in mathematics in 1961. He then returned to Princeton, obtaining a doctorate in physics in 1966 with Arthur Wightman. His whole career has been spent teaching mathematical physics and pursuing research at Harvard University. His 26 doctoral students include Joel Feldman, Ezra Getzler, and Clifford Taubes. He has had many post-doctoral collaborators, including Robert Schrader [de], Konrad Osterwalder, Juerg Froehlich, Roland Sénéor [fr], Thomas Spencer, and Antti Kupiainen.

For several years Jaffe was president of the International Association of Mathematical Physics, and later of the American Mathematical Society. He chaired the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. He presently serves as chair of the board of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Theoretical Physics.

Jaffe conceived the idea of the Clay Mathematics Institute and its programs, including the employment of research fellows and the Millennium Prizes in mathematics. He served as a founding member, a founding member of the board, and the founding president of that organization.

Arthur Jaffe began as chief editor of Communications in Mathematical Physics in 1979 and served for 21 years until 2001. He is a distinguished visiting professor at the Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


With James Glimm, he founded the subject called constructive quantum field theory. They established existence theorems for two- and three-dimensional examples of non-linear, relativistic quantum fields.

Awards and honors

Awarded the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics in 1980. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[3]

Personal life

Jaffe was married from 1971 to 1992 to Nora Frances Crow and they had one daughter, Margaret Collins, born in 1986. Jaffe was married to artist Sarah Robbins Warren from 1992 to 2002.


  1. ^ Website of ACAP
  2. ^ "Oral History Interviews. Arthur Jaffe, interviewed by Katherine Sopka". American Institute of Physics. 15 February 1977.
  3. ^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2013-01-26.