Klaus von Klitzing’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1985
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is difficult to find some new words to express the feelings of a Nobel prize winner at this occasion. I believe that every Nobel Laureate has the feeling that this prize is really a gift – because nobody can or should work just for this prize. Only very few persons have the lucky chance to be selected for this honor. After receiving the announcement of the prize my first thoughts were: how many physicists are now depressed by the fact that they did not get this award. The Nobel prize is unquestionably the most famous prize in the world and very often the prize is an object of prestige not only for a person but also for a research center, a country, or for a particular area of interest. It is, however, my hope that the individuum will remain the center because the creative act remains very personal despite the increasing need for collaborative efforts. I thank all my colleagues and friends which singled me out for this prize.
I am happy, that I have so many friends all over the world who contributed to my research work, and I believe that also in the future basic research offers the best opportunity of reaching across borders and overcoming ideological barriers. I am certain that our Max-Planck-Institute in Stuttgart will increasingly be an international meeting place open to scientists of all countries.
I wish to conclude with the remark that the 1985 Nobel prize in physics is not only an honor for me but also a recognition of the fundamental nature of semiconductor physics in general, and I am happy that the next international conference in this field will be held in Stockholm next year.