The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today that the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, and the accompanying 8 million kronor (£727,000) cash prize, has been awarded to David J. Thouless (50%), F. Duncan M. Haldane (25%), and J. Michael Kosterlitz (25%), “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”.

The Academy explained the significance of the trio’s work in a press release:

This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films. Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter. Many people are hopeful of future applications in both materials science and electronics.
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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