Professor Emeritus of Fusion Plasma Physics

Stockholm, Sweden



The son of Edwin Lehnert, a professor of Serology and Bacteriology, and Greta Lehnert, a composer and pianist, Dr. Bo Peter Lehnert was born in Stockholm, Sweden on March 30, 1926. He married Ann-Marie Kronqvist, born Eriksson, an Economist, in 1989. He received a Master of Science degree in Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm in 1950; five years later, he received his Doctoral degree from KTH after studying with Professor Hannes Alfvén in the Department of Electronics and Plasma Physics, and with Professor Lamek Hulthén in the Department of Theoretical  Physics.


From 1950 to 1955, Dr. Lehnert was a Research Assistant in Alfvén’s Department. During 1953 and 1954 he was also a Visiting Scientist invited by Professor Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin in the United States. In 1955 Dr. Lehnert became an Assistant Professor, and after eight years was promoted to Associate Professor at Alfvén’s Department, a post which he held until 1968.


At that point he became a Full Professor, Personal Chair, of the Swedish Atomic Research Council. He returned to KTH in 1990 as a Full Professor of Fusion Plasma Physics, and acted as such until 1993. Since then, he has been a Professor Emeritus at KTH.


A leading figure in his field, Dr. Lehnert has participated actively in magnetohydrodynamics, plasma physics, and fusion for half a century, almost from the interception of these fields. Some of the topics he has studied include plasma equilibria and stability with applications to controlled thermonuclear fusion, rotating plasmas, heating and transport processes in plasmas, and plasma-neutral gas interaction. He has further developed a revised form of quantum electrodynamics, based on an extended Lorentz and gauge invariant electromagnetic field theory with a nonzero electric field divergence in vacuo. This theory includes an alternative renormalization process which removes the self-energy problem, and which has fundamental applications to lepton and photon models. Recently he has also elaborated an alternative explanation for dark energy and dark matter of the expanding universe, being due to the pressure gradient and gravity of the zero point energy photons in vacuo.


During his career, Dr. Lehnert has held a number of other professional responsibilities. He has been Chairman of the Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society, a member of the International Fusion Research Council of IAEA in Vienna, and Head of the Swedish Fusion Research Unit associated with Euratom in Brussels. His memberships include the International Astronomical Union, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Physics Class, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications in London, and the Electromagnetics Academy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


A prolific writer, Dr. Lehnert has made more than 220 original contributions to international journals, two books in plasma physics, and two books in revised quantum electrodynamics since 1952. Additionally, he has received the Edlund Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Celsius Gold Medal of the Science Society in Uppsala, and the Medal of His Majesty the King of Sweden.