Warm applause for Nobel-winning condensed matter physicists

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Three British academics were congratulated today on winning the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz were jointly awarded the prize in recognition of their work in the field of condensed matter physics, which could be utilised in electronics and computing.

Congratulating the scientists, Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), said: This is excellent news, I would like to personally express congratulations on behalf of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Fundamental research is essential for us to discover and innovate. It often takes time and always takes dedication. Imaginative thought has to go in to developing theory and patience is necessary to fully test ideas. These prizes were made possible thanks to early research conducted at the University of Birmingham back in the early 1970s. So these awards are truly deserved.

Dr Chris Hooley, Senior Lecturer in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics and Operations Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of St Andrews, said: This is a very welcome recognition of some of the pioneers of an important and fast-growing field of theoretical physics. Over the past few decades, the study of topological states of matter has moved on from considering curious features of the quantum theory of insulating magnets to encompass the quantum Hall effect, topological insulators, exotic superconductors, and much more besides. Hopes for applications, in quantum computing and in other areas, are high.

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Notes for Editors:

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture.

We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via UK Research and Innovation.

Reference: PN 54-16

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