Nobel Laureate and Brown University Professor Michael Kosterlitz recently answered student questions at a town hall meeting at the university, his first time back on campus after winning the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Kosterlitz and physicist David Thouless
were recognized for their work on phase changes in two-dimensional systems,
along with physicist Duncan Haldane who is also working in that area.
“I never thought it would actually get this
far,” Kosterlitz said. “David and I knew we had done something good when we did
the initial work because we were able to solve a problem that had been
bothering physicists for quite some time.”
Kosterlitz, who is currently on sabbatical
while working in Finland and South Korea, will return to Brown in January. At
the town hall event, he interacted with university students, faculty and
community members and answered their questions on a range of topics.
“To me, physics is a never-ending thing
because there are always new problems,” he said. “Even if one thinks
that physics is dead, as was said some years go, there are always new problems.
Just look out your window in the morning sometimes, you’ll see lots of problems
out there … Most of the problems I’ve worked on, I have found fascinating and
fun. Of course, getting recognition and getting this prize is wonderful, but
it’s not the main thing.”
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