The 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics has been divided, one half awarded to David J Thouless, the other half jointly to F Duncan M Haldane and J Michael Kosterlitz “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”. The prize is worth SEK 8m (£629,000) and will be shared by the winners, who will receive their medals at a ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December.
David Thouless was born in 1934 in Bearsden, Scotland. He completed his PhD in 1958 at Cornell University in the US. He was professor of mathematical physics at the University of Birmingham in the UK before joining the University of Washington in 1980 – where he is emeritus professor.
Duncan Haldane was born in London in 1951 and completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1978. He is Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
Michael Kosterlitz was born in 1942 in Aberdeen, Scotland and studied physics at the University of Cambridge before gaining a PhD at the University of Oxford in 1969. He is Harrison E Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown University in Rhode Island. Kosterlitz has previously worked at the University of Birmingham, the Instituto di Fisica Teorica in Turin, Italy and Cornell University.