Thouless, Haldane, Kosterlitz Win 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics

David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz were awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics for "theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.”

Thouless was awarded half of the prize, while Haldane and Kosterlitz shared the other half, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Tuesday.

The winners "opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states," the academy said. "They have 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."

Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The prize in economic sciences was added by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. The total amount for each of the 2015 prizes is 8 million kronor ($929,000).

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