Scots-born scientists receive Nobel Prize in physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics laureates F. Duncan M. Haldane, left, David J. Thouless and J. Michael Kosterlitz, right. Picture: Claudio Bresciani/TT via AP

The Nobel Prize in Physics laureates F. Duncan M. Haldane, left, David J. Thouless and J. Michael Kosterlitz, right. Picture: Claudio Bresciani/TT via AP

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Three British-born scientists have received this year’s Nobel Prize in physics for work that “revealed the secrets of exotic matter”.

David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz “opened the door” to an unknown world where matter takes unusual states or phases, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

They were awarded the prize for their “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”.

Thouless, 82, born in Bearsden near Glasgow, is a professor emeritus at the University of Washington, while Haldane, 65, born in London, is a physics professor at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Kosterlitz, 73, born in Aberdeen, is a physics professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Their research was conducted in the 1970s and ‘80s.

The award was announced in October and presented at a ceremony in Stockholm on Saturday, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

The three shared the prize which has a purse of £730,000.

One half of the prize was awarded to Thouless, the other half jointly to Haldane and Kosterlitz.

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