Three scientists who made tremendous breakthroughs in matter are getting recognized for their efforts.
The Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to three scientists over a discovery that could lead to quantum leaps in quantum computing. David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz were all awarded Nobel Prizes for breakthroughs in the 1970s and 1980s about the exotic states of matter.
The discoveries resulted in entirely new fields of research and had big implications for electronic devices that we rely on today. And it opened up our understanding of matter in unusual states or phases, according to a statement from the University of Washington.
Why are they being honored now? Nobel judges will often wait until decades later to recognize a discovery to make sure that they stand the test of time.
The award, which is worth $930,000, was divided up between the three of them.
The scientists were honored for using advanced mathematical methods to study unusual and exotic states of matter, important for the development of superconductors and thin magnetic films.
“Prof. Thouless’ work is a perfect example of why curiosity-driven basic science is so vital,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “Not only did his discoveries open up entirely new fields of research, but they also have had implications for the electronic devices that power our world today and those that may do so in the future — everything from advanced superconductors to quantum computers to other applications we can hardly imagine. We are tremendously proud of this recognition of the seminal importance of his work.”