J. Michael Kosterlitz

Creating New Scientific Knowledge


Abstract

In this talk, I attempt to describe my own vision of how new scientific knowledge is created, based on my own experience of resolving a conflict between accepted physical wisdom and some experimental observations on certain systems in two space dimensions. I discuss what was the conflict and how David Thouless and I stumbled on the solution which opened up a new field of physics and stimulated the use of topology in physics. We were awarded the 2016 Physics Nobel Prize along with Duncan Haldane for this work and its extension to quantum mechanical systems.


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