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Professor David J Thouless

Series of profiles of people who are currently making headlines. Becky Milligan profiles the 2016 Nobel prize winner for Physics, professor David J Thouless.

British Professor David Thouless won this year's Nobel Prize for contributions to the field of topology. Two other British physicists, Professor J. Michael Kosterlitz and Professor Duncan Haldane shared the award. Of course the physics is rather complicated, you don't win a Nobel prize for discovering something obvious, but put simply, David Thouless worked out a way of predicting how a material will behave using maths.

In this programme, though, we'll focus on the man himself. Who is David Thouless and how did he spend his time when he wasn't thinking about equations? We'll hear about the treats he liked as a school boy during the war, about family holidays from his son, Michael Thouless, himself a Professor of Engineering and we'll also hear that things in the real world didn't often go as smoothly as planned...

Audio from the Hubbard Theory Consortium 50th Anniversary Lecture used, with thanks.

Producer Smita Patel & Researcher Phoebe Keane.

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13 minutes