The Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 2016 has gone to three men - David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz - who revealed the secrets of exotic matter and explained the very weird thing that happens to matter when you squish it down to a flat plane, or cool it down to near absolute zero.
- Very few explorers of science have delved into stranger worlds than these three newest Nobel Laureates. All the laureates were born in the UK.
- They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films.
- Travel into mysteries: Using topology, these three scientists were able to elucidate mysteries like how super-cold films of helium change their phase of matter, and how those phase transitions then change their properties (like how conductive they are to electricity and magnetism).
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 with one half to David J. Thouless, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA and the other half to F. Duncan M. Haldane, Princeton University, NJ, USA and J. Michael Kosterlitz Brown University, RI, USA for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
- Recognition: According to Thors Hans Hansson, a Nobel committee member, at the Nobel announcement, “This prize is a reward for their theoretical work. It has combined beautiful mathematics and profound physics insights, and achieved unexpected results that have been confirmed by experiments.”
Topology: It is a system of mathematics that focuses on properties which change only by well-defined increments. It also studies what properties are preserved when objects are stretched, twisted, or deformed. A topological invariant can only have integer numbers.