Philip Warren Anderson
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1977
Born: 13 December 1923, Indianapolis, IN, 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.