The ancient university of Cambridge on Tuesday hailed three of its alumni named as winners of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics, making them the 93rd, 94th and 95th Nobel affiliates in its history of more than 800 years.
The prize was announced in Stockholm for three US-based Britons - David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz - who will share the 8m kronor (£727,000) prize for their pioneering work in condensed matter physics.
Cambridge’s Nobel laureates include two Indians: Amartya Sen (economics, 1998) and Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar (physics, 1983).
David Thouless (Trinity Hall college), Duncan Haldane (Christ’s college) and Michael Kosterlitz (Gonville and Caius college) discovered unexpected behaviours of solid materials and devised a mathematical framework to explain their properties.
Announcing the Physics prize, the Nobel committee said: “This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. 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. Many people are hopeful of future applications in both materials science and electronics.”