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UW’s David Thouless wins Nobel physics prize

David Thouless
UW Professor Emeritus David Thouless is one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for physics. (Credit: Kiloran Howard / Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge)

David Thouless, a British-born professor emeritus at the University of Washington, has been awarded half of this year’s Nobel physics prize for untangling the topological mysteries of superconductors, superfluids and other weird materials.

“Over the last decade, this area has boosted front-line research in condensed matter physics, not least because of the hope that topological materials could be used in new generations of electronics and superconductors, or in future quantum computers,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in today’s announcement of the award.

The other physicists named as Nobel laureates are Princeton’s Duncan Haldane and Brown University’s Michael Kosterlitz. The Nobel Prize committee allocated half of the $930,000 (8 million Swedish kronor) award to Thouless, with the other half to be shared by Haldane and Kosterlitz.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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