David J. Thouless
David Thouless in 1995
David James Thouless
21 September 1934
|Died||6 April 2019 84) (aged|
Margaret Elizabeth Scrase(m. 1958)
|Fields||Condensed matter physics|
|Thesis||The application of perturbation methods to the theory of nuclear matter (1958)|
|Doctoral advisor||Hans Bethe|
|Notable students||J. Michael Kosterlitz (postdoc)|
David James Thouless FRS ( // ; 21 September 1934 – 6 April 2019) was a British condensed-matter physicist. He was the winner of the 1990 Wolf Prize and a laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize for physics along with F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.
Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science'.
Condensed matter physics is the field of physics that deals with the macroscopic and microscopic physical properties of matter. In particular it is concerned with the "condensed" phases that appear whenever the number of constituents in a system is extremely large and the interactions between the constituents are strong. The most familiar examples of condensed phases are solids and liquids, which arise from the electromagnetic forces between atoms. Condensed matter physicists seek to understand the behavior of these phases by using physical laws. In particular, they include the laws of quantum mechanics, electromagnetism and statistical mechanics.
A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.
Born in Bearsden, Scotland,Thouless was educated at Winchester College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge as an undergraduate student of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He obtained his PhD at Cornell University, where Hans Bethe was his doctoral advisor.
Bearsden is a town in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, on the northwestern fringe of Greater Glasgow. Approximately 6 miles (10 km) from Glasgow City Centre, the town is effectively a suburb, and its housing development coincided with the 1863 introduction of a railway line. The town was named after Bearsden railway station, which was named after a nearby cottage.
Winchester College is an independent boarding school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years. It is the oldest of the original seven English public schools defined by the Clarendon Commission and regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868.
The Natural Sciences Tripos (NST) is the framework within which most of the science at the University of Cambridge is taught. The tripos includes a wide range of Natural Sciences from physical sciences to biology which are taught alongside the history and philosophy of science. The tripos covers several courses which form the University of Cambridge system of Tripos. It is known for its broad range of study in the first year, in which students cannot study just one discipline, but instead must choose three courses in different areas of the natural sciences and one in mathematics. As is traditional at Cambridge, the degree awarded after Part II is a Bachelor of Arts (BA). A Master of Science degree (MSci) is available to those who take the optional Part III. It was started in the 19th Century.
Thouless was a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, and also worked in the physics department, from 1958 to 1959.He was the first director of studies in physics at Churchill College, Cambridge, in 1961–1965, professor of mathematical physics at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom in 1965–1978, and professor of applied science at Yale University from 1979 to 1980, before becoming a professor of physics at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1980. Thouless made many theoretical contributions to the understanding of extended systems of atoms and electrons, and of nucleons. He also worked on superconductivity phenomena, properties of nuclear matter, and excited collective motions within nuclei.
A postdoctoral researcher or postdoc is a person professionally conducting research after the completion of their doctoral studies. The ultimate goal of a postdoctoral research position is to pursue additional research, training, or teaching in order to have better skills to pursue a career in academia, research, or any other fields. Postdocs often, but not always, have a temporary academic appointment, sometimes in preparation for an academic faculty position. They continue their studies or carry out research and further increase expertise in a specialist subject, including integrating a team and acquiring novel skills and research methods. Postdoctoral research is often considered essential while advancing the scholarly mission of the host institution; it is expected to produce relevant publications in peer-reviewed academic journals or conferences. In some countries, postdoctoral research may lead to further formal qualifications or certification, while in other countries it does not.
The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines.
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Thouless made many important contributions to the theory of many-body problems.For atomic nuclei, he cleared up the concept of 'rearrangement energy' and derived an expression for the moment of inertia of deformed nuclei. In statistical mechanics, he contributed many ideas to the understanding of ordering, including the concept of 'topological ordering'. Other important results relate to localised electron states in disordered lattices.
The many-body problem is a general name for a vast category of physical problems pertaining to the properties of microscopic systems made of a large number of interacting particles. Microscopic here implies that quantum mechanics has to be used to provide an accurate description of the system. A large number can be anywhere from 3 to infinity, although three- and four-body systems can be treated by specific means and are thus sometimes separately classified as few-body systems. In such a quantum system, the repeated interactions between particles create quantum correlations, or entanglement. As a consequence, the wave function of the system is a complicated object holding a large amount of information, which usually makes exact or analytical calculations impractical or even impossible. Thus, many-body theoretical physics most often relies on a set of approximations specific to the problem at hand, and ranks among the most computationally intensive fields of science.
The atomic nucleus is the small, dense region consisting of protons and neutrons at the center of an atom, discovered in 1911 by Ernest Rutherford based on the 1909 Geiger–Marsden gold foil experiment. After the discovery of the neutron in 1932, models for a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons were quickly developed by Dmitri Ivanenko and Werner Heisenberg. An atom is composed of a positively-charged nucleus, with a cloud of negatively-charged electrons surrounding it, bound together by electrostatic force. Almost all of the mass of an atom is located in the nucleus, with a very small contribution from the electron cloud. Protons and neutrons are bound together to form a nucleus by the nuclear force.
The moment of inertia, otherwise known as the angular mass or rotational inertia, of a rigid body is a quantity that determines the torque needed for a desired angular acceleration about a rotational axis; similar to how mass determines the force needed for a desired acceleration. It depends on the body's mass distribution and the axis chosen, with larger moments requiring more torque to change the body's rotation rate. It is an extensive (additive) property: for a point mass the moment of inertia is just the mass times the square of the perpendicular distance to the rotation axis. The moment of inertia of a rigid composite system is the sum of the moments of inertia of its component subsystems. Its simplest definition is the second moment of mass with respect to distance from an axis. For bodies constrained to rotate in a plane, only their moment of inertia about an axis perpendicular to the plane, a scalar value, matters. For bodies free to rotate in three dimensions, their moments can be described by a symmetric 3 × 3 matrix, with a set of mutually perpendicular principal axes for which this matrix is diagonal and torques around the axes act independently of each other.
John Michael Kosterlitz is a Scottish born British-American physicist. He is a professor of physics at Brown University and the son of biochemist Hans Kosterlitz. He was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics along with David Thouless and Duncan Haldane for work on condensed matter physics.
The bibcode is a compact identifier used by several astronomical data systems to uniquely specify literature references.
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The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.
The Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) is a serially-based system of numbering cataloging records in the Library of Congress in the United States. It has nothing to do with the contents of any book, and should not be confused with Library of Congress Classification.
Thouless was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1979,a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences (1995). Among his awards are the Wolf Prize for Physics (1990), the Paul Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics (1993), the Lars Onsager Prize of the American Physical Society (2000), and the Nobel Prize in Physics (2016).
Thouless married Margaret Elizabeth Scrase in 1958 and together they had three children.In 2016, Thouless was reported to be suffering from dementia. He died on 6 April 2019 in Cambridge, aged 84.
The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the School of Physical Sciences. The laboratory was opened in 1874 on the New Museums Site as a laboratory for experimental physics and is named after the British chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish. The laboratory has had a huge influence on research in the disciplines of physics and biology.
The Dirac Medal is the name of four awards in the field of theoretical physics, computational chemistry, and mathematics, awarded by different organizations, named in honour of Professor Paul Dirac, one of the great theoretical physicists of the 20th century.
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Bertram Neville Brockhouse, was a Canadian physicist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter", in particular "for the development of neutron spectroscopy".
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The Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless transition is a phase transition in the two-dimensional (2-D) XY model. It is a transition from bound vortex-antivortex pairs at low temperatures to unpaired vortices and anti-vortices at some critical temperature. The transition is named for condensed matter physicists Vadim Berezinskii, John M. Kosterlitz and David J. Thouless. BKT transitions can be found in several 2-D systems in condensed matter physics that are approximated by the XY model, including Josephson junction arrays and thin disordered superconducting granular films. More recently, the term has been applied by the 2-D superconductor insulator transition community to the pinning of Cooper pairs in the insulating regime, due to similarities with the original vortex BKT transition.
Sir Thomas Walter Bannerman Kibble,, was a British theoretical physicist, senior research investigator at the Blackett Laboratory and Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College London. His research interests were in quantum field theory, especially the interface between high-energy particle physics and cosmology. He is best known as one of the first to describe the Higgs mechanism, and for his research on topological defects. From the 1950s he was concerned about the nuclear arms race and from 1970 took leading roles in promoting the social responsibility of the scientist.
Thouless may refer to:
Hans Walter Kosterlitz FRS was a German Jewish British biologist..
Peter Samuel Dayan is director at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. He is co-author of Theoretical Neuroscience, a textbook on Computational neuroscience. He is known for applying Bayesian methods from machine learning and artificial intelligence to understand neural function and is particularly recognized for relating neurotransmitter levels to prediction errors and Bayesian uncertainties. He co-authored an influential scientific article on Q-learning with Chris Watkins, and provided a proof of convergence of TD(λ) for arbitrary λ.
The James Clerk Maxwell Medal and Prize is awarded annually by the Institute of Physics to recognize outstanding early-career contributions to theoretical physics. Named after James Clerk Maxwell, the medal is made of bronze and accompanied by a prize of £1000.
Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan FRS is a scientist of Indian origin, and is currently the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Physics at Harvard University. His work centers around understanding the organization of matter in space and time, i.e. how it is shaped and how it flows, particularly at the scale observable by the unaided senses, in both physical and biological systems.
Thomas C. Spencer is an American mathematical physicist, known in particular for important contributions to constructive quantum field theory, statistical mechanics, and spectral theory of random operators. He earned his doctorate in 1972 from New York University with a dissertation entitled Perturbation of the Po2 Quantum Field Hamiltonian written under the direction of James Glimm. Since 1986, he has been professor of mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics.
Frederick Duncan Michael Haldane, known as F. Duncan Haldane, is a British born physicist who is currently the Sherman Fairchild University Professor of Physics at Princeton University, and a Distinguished Visiting Research Chair at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is a co-recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, along with David J. Thouless and John Michael Kosterlitz.
Shoucheng Zhang was a Chinese-American physicist who was the JG Jackson and CJ Wood professor of physics at Stanford University. He was a condensed matter theorist known for his work on topological insulators, the quantum Hall effect, the quantum spin Hall effect, spintronics, and high-temperature superconductivity. According to the National Academy of Science:
He discovered a new state of matter called topological insulator in which electrons can conduct along the edge without dissipation, enabling a new generation of electronic devices with much lower power consumption. For this ground breaking work he received numerous international awards, including the Buckley Prize, the Dirac Medal and Prize, the Europhysics Prize, the Physics Frontiers Prize and the Benjamin Franklin Medal.
Ali Alavi FRS is a professor of theoretical chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart.
Vadim L'vovich Berezinskii was a Soviet physicist. He was born in Kiev, graduated from Moscow State University in 1959, and worked in Moscow and the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is famous for having identified the role played by topological defects in the low-temperature phase of two-dimensional systems with a continuous symmetry. His work led to the discovery of the Berezinskii–Kosterlitz–Thouless transition, for which John M. Kosterlitz and David J. Thouless were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2016. He also developed a technique for treating electrons in one-dimensional disordered systems and provided first consistent proof of one-dimensional localization. and predicted negative-gap superconductivity.
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