The three laureates will divide the 8 million Swedish Krona prize (US $931,000) among them in accordance to their contributions. A half of this money will go to David Thouless of the University of Washington, and the other half will be divided between Duncan Haldane of Princeton University and Michael Kosterlitz of Brown University.
The Nobel Foundation issued a statement this Tuesday on their website,
“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.”
What Did The Physicists Work On?
At the beginning of the 1970s, Kosterlitz and Thouless nullified the theory at that time which stated that superconductivity is not possible in extremely thin layers. These Physicists proved that superconductivity could occur at extremely low temperatures. They also elaborated on the mechanism of this occurrence, using phase transition that enables superconductivity to disappear at higher temperatures.
After a decade, Haldane contributed by examining matter which can form threads so thin that they can essentially be considered one-dimensional.
This concept is explained by one of the laureates in the video below using a cinnamon bun, a bagel and a pretzel:
The Importance Of The Discovery:
The physicists’ groundbreaking discovery is important in that it opens new horizons for the next generation of electronics and superconductors. This can even be used in quantum computers to carry and store information, which would mark the start of a new revolution in the digital world.
Nobel Committee member Thors Hans Hansson explained.
“People are working very hard in the labs to get new materials which have interesting properties of conducting electricity. And the dream is that this can be used for carrying information.”
We extend our congratulations to the three deserving Nobel Prize Laureates and hope they will inspire the world towards working for a better tomorrow.