Former University of Birmingham academics awarded with the Nobel Prize for both Physics and Chemistry

UoB now has a total of 11 Nobel Prize winners

chemistry nobel prize physicist the tab UoB

There was pride on the streets of Selly Oak after the 2016 Nobel Prize for both Psychics and Chemistry were announced this week, with no fewer than three former University of Birmingham researcher’s and academics winning the prize.  This news will surely delight fellow students at UoB, as well as cementing the University as an international powerhouse of academia.

Former physicist’s Professor David Thouless and Professor Mike Kosterlitz, of the University of Birmingham Department of Mathematical Physics (now the Theoretical Physics group), were rewarded for their decades of hard work in the field of ‘exotic states of matter’.  They are responsible for new theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.  Both Professor Thouless and Professor Kosterlitz were academic members of staff at the University of Birmingham in 1972, when they first decided to concentrate on the field.

There most seminal work, it could be argued, took place here at Birmingham during 1973, when they discovered that matter is capable of an internal geometry or topology, which could have measurable effects on their properties.  This would set the groundwork for their research over the next 43 years and would accumulate to a Nobel Prize award in Physics.

Former University of Birmingham Head of Chemistry and Knight of the realm Professor Sir J.Fraser Stoddart was awarded the Noble Prize in Chemistry for his works on ‘design and synthesis of machines on a molecular scale’.  Professor Sir Stoddart was awarded for work he started at University of Birmingham during the 1990’s, and his work is still continued today in the School’s of Chemistry and Physics.

It is also noteworthy that the University now has amassed a total of three former academics who have been awarded the Noble Prize in Chemistry.

The University of Birmingham now has a total of 11 Nobel Prize winners; the list is below:

  • Sir J. Fraser Stoddart (Chemistry)
  • David Thouless (Physics)
  • J. Michael Kosterlitz (Physics)
  • Francis Aston (Chemistry)
  • Sir Norman Haworth (Chemistry)
  • Lord Robert Cecil (Nobel Peace Prize)
  • Sir Peter Medawar (Physiology or Medicine)
  • Maurice Wilkins (Physiology or Medicine)
  • Sir John Vane (Physiology or Medicine)
  • Sir Paul Nurse (Physiology or Medicine)
  • Peter Bullock (Nobel Peace Prize)