The Latest: Nobel winner: Young, stupid when discovery made
STOCKHOLM (AP) — The Latest on the Nobel physics prize (all times local):
Nobel Prize winner Michael Kosterlitz says he was “young and stupid” when he made the discovery that earned him and two other scientists the prestigious physics award.
Kosterlitz says “it was a piece of work that I did as a very ignorant post-doc.”
In the 1970s, Kosterlitz and David Thouless showed that, against expectations, two-dimensional materials could conduct electricity without any loss to resistance. That property is called superconductivity.
Kosterlitz told The Associated Press by phone from Helsinki, where he is a visiting professor at Aalto University, that “complete ignorance was actually an advantage because I didn’t have any preconceived ideas. I was young and stupid enough to take it on.”
He said he got a phone call saying he had won the prize when he was in a parking lot on his way to lunch in Helsinki.
Kosterlitz said that “I’m a little bit dazzled. I’m still trying to take it in.”
One of the scientists who won this year’s Nobel physics prize says that he was “very surprised and very gratified” to win the award.
Duncan Haldane won the prize along with David Thouless and Michael Kosterlitz for revealing the secrets of exotic matter such as superconductors, materials that conduct electricity with no loss to resistance.
Haldane was speaking by a phone link to a news conference in Stockholm shortly after the winners were announced.
Haldane is a 65-year-old physics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey.
David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in physics.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday cited their “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.”