Jewish scientist from Scotland wins Nobel Prize

Jewish scientist from Scotland wins Nobel Prize

Michael Kosterlitz, whose parents migrated from Germany, shared the science award for work in the 1970s and 1980s

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

Michael Kosterlitz
Michael Kosterlitz

A Jewish scientist from Scotland has won the Nobel Prize for Physics for work he says he did “as an ignorant post-doc”.

Michael Kosterlitz, the son of German Jewish immigrants, shared the award with fellow British scientists David Thouless and Duncan Haldane for their work in the 70s and 80s.

In a statement, the awarding committee from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the trio had “revealed the secrets of exotic matter”.

The said: “This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They 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.”

Kosterlitz’s father was a German-Jewish biochemist who fled to Scotland in 1934 to escape persecution, joining Aberdeen University. Michael, who now works in the U.S, was born there in 1942.

The awards ceremony will take place in Stockholm in December.

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