Meet and greet a Nobel Laureate.

The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters is proud to announce the sixteenth Royal Academy Nobel Laureate Lecture. 


Professor Mike Kosterlitz gave a public talk on the research that led to the Nobel Prize in physics in 2016. He talks about some of the applications of topology and topological defects in phase transitions in two-dimensional systems. 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.

The talk is also the story of Professor Kosterlitz’ random walk through physics via Cambridge, Oxford, Turin and Birmingham finishing up at Brown University. He will also describe his very crooked path through life including physics and his other life as a mountaineer.

Professor Tomas Bohr, The Danish Technical University, will be introducing the speaker: Michael Kosterlitz, born in Aberdeen in 1943, is professor of Physics at Brown University. He was awarded the 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.