Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 announced

Three scientists, born in the UK but now based in the US, are honoured for their work in the 'flatlands' of physics

October 4, 2016
Alfred Nobel
Source: iStock

This year’s Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to three men for their work on matter in “strange states”.

David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz were all born in the UK, but are now based in the United States at the University of Washington, Princeton University and Brown University respectively.

They all used topology – a type of mathematics that looks at step-wise changes in states – to explore strange matter phases such as superconductivity and superfluidity.

“Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter. Many people are hopeful of future applications in both materials science and electronics,” said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the prizes.

All three scientists studied extremely thin matter, which can be considered either two dimensional or even one dimensional.

In these “flatlands”, as the academy described them, physics is “very different" to what "we recognise in the world around us”.

“New collective phenomena are being continually discovered in these flatlands, and condensed matter physics is now one of the most vibrant fields in physics,” it explained

david.matthews@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together