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Nobel in Physics Goes to 3 Brits in US Who Take Matter Seriously

Nobel in Physics Goes to 3 Brits in US Who Take Matter Seriously

The Nobel Committee for Physics announce winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics (JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Tuesday, 04 October 2016 11:59 AM

Three British natives working in the U.S. were awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their discoveries in condensed-matter physics.

David J. Thouless of the University of Washington, F. Duncan M. Haldane of Princeton University, and J. Michael Kosterlitz of Brown University were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm for “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter,” according to The New York Times.

According to The Times, topology is a classification of “mathematics that describes properties that change only in increments.”

In the early 1970s, both Dr. Kosterlitz and Dr. Thouless “demonstrated that superconductivity could occur at low temperatures and also explained the mechanism, phase transition, that makes superconductivity disappear at higher temperatures,” which ultimately played a major role in them becoming prizewinners.

As for Dr. Haldane, in the 1980s he was able to discover how topological concepts could be used to understand the assets of chains of small magnets that were found in some of the matter, The Times noted.

“This year’s Laureates opened the door on 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 academy said in its citation, according to USA Today.

“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,” the academy added.

Michael S. Turner, a physicist at the University of Chicago, said in an email that the work of the three Nobel Prize winners was “truly transformational, with long-term consequences both practical and fundamental.”

“It illustrates the importance and surprises associated with curiosity-driven research.”

Dr. Thouless was awarded half of the prize of 8 million Swedish kronor, which is about $930,000, according to The Times. Dr. Haldane and Dr. Kosterlitz were awarded the other half.

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Three British natives working in the U.S. were awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their discoveries in condensed-matter physics.
nobel, physics, brits, matter
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2016-59-04
Tuesday, 04 October 2016 11:59 AM
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