14 Facts About Ilya Prigogine


Ilya Prigogine was born in Moscow a few months before the Russian Revolution of 1917, into a Jewish family.


Ilya Prigogine's father, Ruvim Abramovich Prigogine, was a chemical engineer who studied at the Imperial Moscow Technical School and owned a soap factory; his mother, Yulia Vikhman, was a pianist who attended the Moscow Conservatory.


Ilya Prigogine graduated from the Athenee d'Ixelles in 1935, majoring in Greek and Latin.


Ilya Prigogine's parents encouraged him to become a lawyer, and he initially enrolled in law studies at the Free University of Brussels.


Ilya Prigogine ended up dropping out from the law faculty.


Ilya Prigogine started his research career under the German occupation of Belgium.


Ilya Prigogine was a member of numerous scientific organizations, and received numerous awards, prizes and 53 honorary degrees.


In 1955, Ilya Prigogine was awarded the Francqui Prize for Exact Sciences.


Ilya Prigogine received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 1985 and in 1998 he was awarded an honoris causa doctorate by the UNAM in Mexico City.


Ilya Prigogine was first married to Belgian poet Helene Jofe and in 1945 they had a son Yves.


Ilya Prigogine defined dissipative structures and their role in thermodynamic systems far from equilibrium, a discovery that won him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977.


In summary, Ilya Prigogine discovered that importation and dissipation of energy into chemical systems could result in the emergence of new structures due to internal self reorganization.


Ilya Prigogine co-authored several books with Isabelle Stengers, including The End of Certainty and La Nouvelle Alliance.


Ilya Prigogine asserts that Newtonian physics has now been "extended" three times: first with the introduction of spacetime in general relativity, then with the use of the wave function in quantum mechanics, and finally with the recognition of indeterminism in the study of unstable systems.