Michael Kosterlitz

Topological Defects and Phase Transitions

The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters with support from The Novo Nordisk Foundation are proud to announce the sixteenth Royal Academy Nobel Laureate Lecture. 

After the lecture the audience is invited to a reception. Attending the lecture as well as the reception is free of charge but registration below is necessary. 

This talk reviews some of the applications of topology and topological defects in phase transitions in two-dimensional systems for which Kosterlitz and Thouless split half the 2016 Physics Nobel Prize. The theoretical predictions and experimental verification in two dimensional superfluids, superconductors and crystals will be reviewed because they provide very convincing quantitative agreement with topological defect theories.

Tomas Bohr, professor of Physics at The Danish Technical University writes about the laureate:

Michael Kosterlitz, born in Aberdeen in 1943, is professor of Physics at Brown University. He was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for his work with David Thouless at the University of Birmingham in the 1970s on two-dimensional phase transitions. In this work they showed that a large class of two-dimensional systems, then believed not to admit phase transitions, actually had a new kind of phase transition driven by the emergence (or unbinding) of “elementary” topological excitations. These systems include superfluid helium films, whose transition to the normal fluid state is driven by vortices, and 2-d crystals, where the melting process is driven by dislocations and disclinations. This work was extremely fruitful and paved the way for the present interest in the unique and useful properties of two-dimensional materials.

6. apr 2018


  • Sted:

    Niels K. Jerne Auditoriet, The Mærsk Tower
    Blegdamsvej 3B
    2200 Copenhagen N  

  • Pris:


The Lecture is supported by


Registration opens on 26 February 2018



  • Eva Bang-Hansen
  • Project Manager
  • +4525360770
  • ebh@royalacademy.dk