The Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture

Topological Defects and Phase Transitions - A Random Walk to the Nobel Prize 

J. MICHAEL KOSTERLITZ

2016 Nobel Prize Laureate
Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics, Brown University 

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Spencer M. Partrich Law School Auditorium, 471 W. Palmer Street
Wayne State University 

This talk is about my path to the Nobel Prize and reviews some of the applications of topology and topological defects in phase transitions in two-dimensional systems for which Kosterlitz and Thouless split half the 2016 Physics Nobel Prize. The theoretical predictions and experimental verification in two dimensional superfluids, superconductors and crystals will be reviewed because they provide very convincing quantitative agreement with topological defect theories.

BIOSKETCH: Dr. J. Michael Kosterlitz is a theoretical physicist recognized for his work with David J. Thouless on the application of topological ideas to the theory of phase transitions in two-dimensional systems with a continuous symmetry. The theory has been applied to thin films of superfluid 4He, superconductors and to melting of two-dimensional solids. This work was recognized by the Lars Onsager prize in 2000, membership in the AAAS 2007, and by the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. Kosterlitz graduated from Cambridge University earning a BSc in physics in 1965, an MA in 1966, and received a D. Phil. from Oxford in 1969. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Torino University, Italy, in 1970 and at Birmingham University, U.K., from 1970-73. There he met David Thouless and together they did their groundbreaking work on phase transitions mediated by topological defects in two dimensions. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell in 1974, on the faculty at Birmingham 1974-81, Professor of Physics at Brown University 1982-present, and elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2017. 

Please RSVP at: https://rsvp.wayne.edu/2018-vaden-w-miles-memorial-lecture 

 

 

Previous Vaden Miles lectures

 

April 7, 2016

Guest Lecturer: Adam Riess, Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute, 2011 Nobel Prize Laureate

Supernovae and the Discovery of the Accelerating Universe

The 2017 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture details can be found here.


April 7, 2016

Guest Lecturer: Prof. H. Eugene Stanley (Boston University)

Economic Fluctuations and Statistical Physics

The 2016 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture details can be found here.


April 9, 2015

Guest Lecturer: Professor Hitoshi Muaryama (University of California Berkeley)

The Quantum Universe

The 2013 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture details can be found here.


April 10, 2014

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Mario Livio (Space Telescope Science Institute)

Brilliant Blunders

The 2014 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture details can be found here.


April 4, 2013

Guest Lecturer: Professor Charles M. Falco (University of Arizona)

The Science of Optics; The History of Art

The 2013 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture poster available here.


March 29, 2012
Guest Lecturer: Colonel Terry Virts, NASA Astronaut

Space Shuttle Mission STS-130 & Scientific Exploration on the International Space Station

The 2012 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture details and poster available here.


March 3, 2011

Guest Lecturer: Professor Sylvester James Gates, Jr.

SUSY and the Lords of the Ring: Supersymmetry Theory

The 2011 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture details available here.


April 1, 2010

Guest Lecturer: Professor Young-Kee Kim

Extreme Physics Where Small and Big Things Meet

The 2010 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture poster available here.


March 26, 2009

Guest Lecturer: Professor George W. Crabtree

The Sustainable Energy Challenge

The 2009 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture poster available here.


April 10, 2008

Guest Lecturer: Professor Eric Cornell, 2001 Physics Nobel Laureate

Stone cold science: Bose-Einstein condensation and the weird world of physics a millionth of a degree above absolute zero

The 2008 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture poster available here.


April 12, 2007

Guest Lecturer: Professor Sidney Nagel

Physics at the Breakfast Table

The 2007 Vaden W. Miles Memorial Lecture poster available here.