# Professor David Thouless and Professor Mike Kosterlitz

Professor David Thouless (1934-present)

Awarded (jointly) the Nobel Prize for Physics 2016

- British condensed matter physicist
- Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Birmingham 1965-1978
- Published seminal work that indicated that matter can have an internal geometry or ‘topology’, which can have measurable effects on their properties 1973

Scottish-born David Thouless graduated from Cambridge University in 1955. He was Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Birmingham from 1965 to 1978, where he began his collaboration with Michael Kosterlitz. Since 1980, he has been Professor of Physics at the University of Washington in Seattle, where his main interests have been in the Quantum Hall effect, in vortices in superfluids, and in other problems related to topological quantum numbers.

Professor Mike Kosterlitz (1942-present)

Awarded (jointly) the Nobel Prize for Physics 2016

- research in condensed matter theory, one- and two-dimensional physics; in phase transitions: random systems, electron localization, and spin glasses; and in critical dynamics: melting and freezing.
- Research fellow at the University of Birmingham in 1970 where he collaborated with Professor David Thouless on phase transitions driven by topological defects
- Returned to the University of Birmingham as a lecturer 1974-1982

Michael Kosterlitz was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, was educated at Cambridge, where he received a BA in 1965 and MA in 1966. He received a D. Phil. from Oxford University in 1969 in high energy physics. He undertook postdoctoral work at Torino University in Italy and came to the University of Birmingham in 1970 as a Research Fellow in high energy physics. In 1971, he changed fields and collaborated with Professor David Thouless on phase transitions driven by topological defects.

After a period at Cornell University he returned to Birmingham in 1974 as a lecturer and worked on critical phenomena in two and higher dimensions. He left the University in 1982.