British trio David Thouless, F Duncan M Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz win 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics
British trio of physicists David Thouless, F Duncan M Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz have won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. They will share the 8 million Swedish kronor prize.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected them for their individual researches on theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
- Their research work centres on Topology, a branch of mathematics involving step-wise changes like making a series of holes in an object.
- For example when matter goes from solid to liquid to gas different phases are obvious, but materials can also undergo topological step changes which affect their electrical properties.
- Such changes can be seen in a superconductor, which at low temperatures conducts electricity without resistance.
- These trio physicists had worked in the field of condensed matter physics and have discovered totally unexpected behaviours of solid materials.
- Based on their individual discoveries they came up with a mathematical framework in the field of topology to explain these weird properties.
- The discoveries have paved the way for designing new materials with all sorts of novel properties that have significant potential revolutionize advances in electronics and future quantum computers.
- David J Thouless: He is Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, US.
- Duncan M. Haldane: He is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, US.
- J Michael Kosterlitz: He is the Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown University, US.