Torsten Gustafson

Torsten Valdemar Gustafson (8 May 1904 – 27 May 1987), was a Swedish physicist and professor in theoretical physics at Lund University.

Torsten Gustafson
Born(1904-05-08)8 May 1904
Falkenberg, Sweden
Died(1987-05-27)27 May 1987
Lund, Sweden
Scientific career
InstitutionsLund University


Torsten Gustafson was born on 8 May in Falkenberg, Sweden. After graduating from his high school in Gothenburg he began studying at Lund University in 1922. He was awarded his bachelor's degree after three semesters in 1923, and in 1924 he was awarded his Master of Philosophy.[1] In 1929, he became a Filosofie licentiat with his work on flow problems in airplane wings, and in 1934 he was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy with his doctoral dissertation on Magnus effect. In 1933, he became a lecturer in mechanics and mathematical physics in Lund; in 1939, he became professor in the same subject,[2] and in 1961 he became professor of theoretical physics.

Gustafson's research focus was first mechanics, and especially flow mechanics with aerodynamics and oceanography applications. During his time as a PhD student, he worked as an assistant in the Swedish Hydrographic-Biological Commission in 1930–1934. Later he was mainly involved in nuclear physics.[3]

Torsten Gustafson was acquainted with the Swedish prime minister Tage Erlander, and he served as Erlanders Informal Scientific Adviser during Erlander's time as Education minister and prime minister. In this capacity, Gustafson had an important role in the process which led Sweden to be early to focus on nuclear research in the form of the Atomic Committee, where Gustafson was a member.[4]

He was also a member of the Council of CERN in Geneva in 1953–1964.[5] Gustafsson was elected in 1940 as a member of the Physiographic Society in Lund, in 1951 as a member of the Science Society in Uppsala and in 1958 as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


  1. ^ Forkman, Bengt; Holmin, Verdozzi Kristina, eds. (2016). Fysik i Lund: i tid och rum (in Swedish). Lund: Fysiska institutionen i samarbete med Gidlunds förlag. p. 67. ISBN 9789178449729.
  2. ^ Litzén, Ulf (2015). Fysik i Lund under 300 år (in Swedish). Lund: Lunds universitetshistoriska sällskap. p. 114. ISBN 9789175453200.
  3. ^ Litzén (2015). Fysik i Lund under 300 år (in Swedish). p. 118.
  4. ^ Scandbook) (2002). Svenska förintelsevapen : utvecklingen av kemiska och nukleära stridsmedel 1928–1970. Historiska media. pp. 51–52, 258–259. ISBN 9189442490. OCLC 185984211.
  5. ^ Forkman; Holmin, eds. (2016). Fysik i Lund: i tid och rum (in Swedish). Lund. p. 80.