Thouless, Haldane, Kosterlitz win Nobel Prize in Physics


David J Thouless, F Duncan M Haldane and J Michael Kosterlitz were awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics for “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.”

Thouless was awarded half of the prize, while Haldane and Kosterlitz shared the other half, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Tuesday.

The winners “opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states,” the academy said. “They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films. Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter.”

Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The prize in economic sciences was added by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. The total amount for each of the 2015 prizes is 8 million kronor ($929,000).

David J. Thouless, born 1934 in Bearsden, UK. Ph.D. 1958 from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

F. Duncan M. Haldane, born 1951 in London, UK. Ph.D. 1978 from Cambridge University, UK. Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, NJ, USA.

J. Michael Kosterlitz, born 1942 in Aberdeen, UK. Ph.D. 1969 from Oxford University, UK. Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.

Prize amount: 8 million Swedish krona, with one half to David Thouless and the other half to be shared between Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz.


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