Three US based professors have won the Nobel Prize 2016 in Physics for their theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
David J. Thouless (University of Washington), F. Duncan M. Haldane (Princeton University) and J. Michael Kosterlitz (Brown University) were announced Nobel Prize winners in Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. While one half of the Nobel Prize was awarded to David Thouless, the second half would be shared between Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz.
This year’s Physics Laureates have opened the door to an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films.
The three British-born professors Michael Kosterlitz and David Thouless, in the early 1970’s, had overturned the then current theory that superconductivity or suprafluidity could not occur in thin layers. They demonstrated that superconductivity could occur at low temperatures and also explained the mechanism, phase transition that makes superconductivity disappear at higher temperatures.
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