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Physics center participants win Nobel prize

Oct 6, 2016

Credit nobelprize.org

Three men who have been involved in the Aspen Center for Physics won the Nobel Prize this week.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded half of the prize to David Thouless, who served on the local physics center board for 15 years. The other half is being shared by Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz. Haldane also served on the Aspen Center for Physics board. Kosterlitz, like his fellow laureates, lectured and collaborated here as well.

Jane Kelly is the center’s administrative vice president. She says the recent winners are part of a larger group that have participated locally.

"The physics center keeps a low profile just because these people want to come here and do some serious work … over the years we’ve had about 60 Nobel laureates participate in our program,” she said.

It was their work during the last five decades here that earned them the esteemed recognition this week. According to the Nobel Prize’s website, it was their use of advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases of matter, such as superconductors and super fluids, that now have scientists hopeful of future applications in both materials science and electronics.