Brown professor wins Nobel Prize in Physics

J. Michael Kosterlitz (Photo Courtesy: Brown University)
J. Michael Kosterlitz (Photo Courtesy: Brown University)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Brown University Professor J. Michael Kosterlitz has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Kosterlitz received the prestigious award “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.”

“This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states,” said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prizes.

“It was a piece of work that I did as a very ignorant post-doc,” said Kosterlitz over the phone to the Associated Press.

Kosterlitz is in Helsinki, Finland where he is a visiting professor.

He was in a parking lot on his way to lunch when he received the phone call about winning the prize.

“I’m a little bit dazzled.  I’m still trying to take it in,” said Kosterlitz.

Kosterlitz is the Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown and joined the faculty in 1982.