Keith Moffatt

Henry Keith Moffatt, FRS FRSE (born 12 April 1935) is a Scottish mathematician with research interests in the field of fluid dynamics, in particular particularly magnetohydrodynamics and the theory of turbulence. He was Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1980 to 2002.

Keith Moffatt
Born (1935-04-12) 12 April 1935
Other namesHenry Keith Moffatt
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
University of Cambridge
Known forMoffatt eddies
AwardsSmith's Prize (1960)
Senior Whitehead Prize (2005)
Hughes Medal (2005)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1986)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
ThesisMagnetohydrodynamic Turbulence (1962)
Doctoral advisorGeorge Batchelor
Doctoral studentsMichael Proctor
Renzo Ricca
Andrew Soward

Early life and education

Moffatt was born on 12 April 1935 to Emmeline Marchant and Frederick Henry Moffatt.[1] He was schooled at George Watson's College, Edinburgh, going on to study Mathematical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 1957. He then went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics and, 1959, he was a Wrangler. In 1960, he was awarded a Smith's Prize while preparing his PhD. He received his PhD in 1962, the title of his dissertation was Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence.


After completing his PhD, Moffatt joined the staff of the Mathematics Faculty in Cambridge as an Assistant Lecturer[1] and became a Fellow of Trinity College. He was appointed a lecturer in 1964, and held the office of Tutor, then Senior Tutor, at Trinity between 1970 and 1976.

In 1977 he was appointed to the Chair of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bristol.[1] He held this position until 1980 when he returned to Cambridge to take up the Chair in Mathematical Physics, renewing his Fellowship of Trinity College. In 2002 he was made an Emeritus Professor of the University (he remains a Fellow of Trinity).

In the early 2000s he published papers on the theory of Euler's Disk.

Moffatt has published more than 200 papers.


Honours and awards

Personal life

In 1960 he married Katharine (Linty), and together they had four children, two daughters and two sons, one of whom is deceased.[1]



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