Reminder: Invitation to the SISSA-ICTP Webinar Colloquium by Nobel Laureate, Prof. J. Michael Kosterlitz on 14 October 16:00 (CET): "A Random Walk Through Physics To The Nobel Prize"

ICTP Director director at
Fri Oct 9 10:32:40 CEST 2020

Dear All,

You are most cordially invited to the SISSA-ICTP  Webinar Colloquium by 
Nobel Laureate John Michael Kosterlitz: "A Random Walk Through Physics 
To The Nobel Prize" on Wednesday 14 October at 16:00 hrs CET.

Pre-registration is required at the following url: 

*Biosketch: Michael Kosterlitz*, is a British-born American physicist 
who was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in using 
topology to explain superconductivity in two-dimensional materials. He 
shared the prize with British-born American physicists David Thouless 
and Duncan Haldane.

Kosterlitz studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, earning his 
BA and MA before moving to Brasenose College, Oxford, where he gained 
his DPhil in 1969. He performed post-doctoral work with David Thouless 
at the University of Birmingham and, building on work by Russian 
physicist Vadim Berezinskii (1935-1980), they discovered the 
Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless phase transition of two-dimensional 
models at low temperature.

He also worked at Cornell University, New York, before being appointed 
as lecturer, senior lecturer and reader at Birmingham in 1974. In 1982 
he moved to the US as professor of physics at Brown University in 
Providence, Rhode Island. In 2016 he also worked as visiting research 
fellow at Aalto University, Finland, as visiting professor at Suzhou 
University in China and as distinguished professor at the Korea 
Institute for Advanced Study.

The 2016 Nobel Laureates in the field of physics – David Thouless, 
Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz – demonstrated how materials can 
be understood in terms of the mathematical principles of topology, a 
modern form of geometry that studies different sorts of spaces. A 
topological surface is partly defined by how many holes there are. In 
topological terms, a doughnut and a cup are the same (both having one 
hole), but a ball is different. Its importance here is that it explains 
why electrical conductivity inside thin layers changes in integer steps. 
Using topology, two of the laureates studied the properties of ultra 
thin films (Kosterlitz and Thouless). Their work identified new and 
unexpected phases of matter and new behaviors.

The work of the three laureates was a watershed in understanding and 
calculating the properties of material systems, and it is thought it may 
pave the way for a new generation of quantum computers. The Nobel 
Committee for Physics declared: “This year’s laureates opened the door 
on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have 
used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, 
of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films. 
Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic 
phases of matter.”

Apart from the Nobel Prize, Kosterlitz was awarded the Maxwell Medal and 
Prize by the British Institute of Physics in 1981 and the Lars Onsager 
Prize from the American Physical Society in 2000. He is also a Fellow of 
the American Physical Society, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts 
and Sciences and elected in 2017 to the National Academy of Sciences.


*Abstract:*"The talk is the story of my random walk through physics via 
Cambridge, Oxford, Turin and Birmingham finishing up at Brown 
University. I describe my very crooked path through life including 
physics and my other life as a mountaineer. I also include a somewhat 
simplified version of my prize winning work"

The talk will be followed by a question/answer session.

For info, please check the following link:

We look forward to seeing you online!

With best regards,

Office of the Director, ICTP


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