Philip W. Anderson


Philip Warren Anderson

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Philip Warren Anderson
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1977

Born: 13 December 1923, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Died: 29 March 2020, Princeton, NJ, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, USA

Prize motivation: “for their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems”

Prize share: 1/3


Solid materials often have a regular crystalline structure and composition, but sometimes they constitute disordered systems. These could be alloys with a regular structure but a more random composition. Other solid materials, such as glass, lack a regular structure. In 1958 Philip Anderson showed the conditions under which an electron can move about freely within a disordered system and when it is more or less bound to a specific place. This and other works have contributed to a deeper understanding of electrical phenomena in disordered systems.

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