Kosterlitz, John Michael

Kosterlitz, John Michael, 1943–, British physicist, b. Scotland, Ph.D. Oxford, 1969. He was on the faculty at the Univ. of Birmingham, England, from 1974 to 1982, when he became a professor at Brown. Kosterlitz shared the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics with Haldane and David Thouless “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” Working together in the 1970s, Kosterlitz and Thouless demonstrated the existence of superconductivity and suprafluidity in thin layers. They explained the mechanism, known as phase transition, that enables superconductivity to occur at low temperatures and then disappear at higher temperatures. Collectively, their work, along with later research by Haldane on magnetic properties, paved the way for designing new materials with novel properties.

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