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* Date : 2017-01-16

A combination of physics and topology
- Michael Kosterlitz, the 2016 Nobel Laureate of Physics

On this edition of The INNERview, we sit down with Michael Kosterlitz, a professor of physics at Brown University and a distinguished professor at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS), who was jointly awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

His father Hans Kosterlitz, is a biochemist who is best known for his work as one of the key discoverers of endorphins. Since Michael was young, he learned theoretical physics from his father and built up his dream to be a scientist.

Michael decided to study physics so he could overcome his physical obstacles of having a bad memory and color-blindness. And thus, he achieved his Doctor of Philosophy degree on particle physics.

One day, he met professor David Thouless, and the two became interested in the strange characteristics of 2-dimensional substances. Michael switched over to condensed matter physics and in the early 1970's, he presented a study which stated that phase transitions occurred in 2-dimensional substances.

Back then, the academia world did not recognize their accomplishment because it contradicted with the existing theory. But now, after 4 decades had passed, Michael Kosterlitz and David Thouless were awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics for their studies.

Since 2004, Michael Kosterlitz has been actively doing his research with Korean scientists at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) every year.

On this edition of The INNERview, we shed light on his studies, which are considered the most important discovery in condensed matter physics in the 20th century, and we learn about the special life and philosophies of Michael Kosterlitz.

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