PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Michael Kosterlitz, a Brown University physicist and 2016 Nobel Laureate, has been elected to the 2017 class of National Academy of Sciences members.
Kosterlitz is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected in this year’s class. Members and associates are chosen for what is regarded as one of the highest honors a scientist can receive based on their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”
"Election to the National Academy is a tremendous honor and one Michael richly deserves," said Gang Xiao, chair of the Brown physics department. "We're very happy that that the Nobel committee — and now the National Academy — have recognized Michael's groundbreaking research."
Kosterlitz’s theoretical work on phase transitions in two-dimensional materials has become the bedrock for decades of research in ultra-thin materials and exotic phases of matter. Drawing on a branch of mathematics known as topology, he and colleague David Thouless published a pioneering article on the subject in 1973. The paper earned Kosterlitz a share of the 2016 Nobel Prize in physics with Thouless and Duncan Haldane.
Kosterlitz, who joined the Brown faculty in 1982, becomes the eighth current Brown faculty member in the National Academy, including fellow physicist and Nobel Laureate Leon Cooper.