Remembered for his work on the thermodynamics-related study of phase transitions, this distinguished Cornell University and Ohio State University physics professor was the 1982 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics. His pioneering work encompassed such theoretical physics concepts as the renormalization group and "Wilson Loops."
During his time at Harvard University, he excelled in both academics and athletics. He went on to receive a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.
He was a co-recipient of the 1980 Wolf Prize in physics.
Born in Waltham, Massachusetts, to Harvard University chemist E. Bright Wilson and physicist Emily Buckingham Wilson, he later lived in New York, Ohio, and Maine. His brother, David Wilson, taught in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department at Cornell.
During the 1980s, Wilson and Swiss-born scientist Heinrich Rohrer both received the Nobel Prize in Physics.