K. Alex Müller

Banquet speech

K. Alex Müller’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1987

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen

Despite the announcement in my mother language, you just heard, I choose to speak in English, with a heavy Swiss accent as a newspaper man had it.

Georg Bednorz and I work at the IBM Laboratory in Rüschlikon. Our friends Gerd Binnig and Heini Rohrer from the same Laboratory were honoured last year. From this fact, it is our opinion that strictly scientific considerations must have led the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to her decision. We thank very much for this decision and great honour!

This opinion on the decision of the Academy has also been expressed in many, many hundreds of congratulations to Georg and me from all branches of Physics as well as friends. Prevalent was in all the joy that we opened a door in the high-Tc superconductivity field, recognized by the Academy, and you present here share it with us as well.

The joy stems especially from the colleagues in our field who recently advanced, expanded and deepened our findings at a very fast rate. Their work is helping to understand and possibly apply the layered copper-oxide superconductors.

Of course their transition temperatures occur still at quite low temperatures, much colder than the cold temperatures we experienced last Monday and Tuesday here in Stockholm.

The superconducting transition temperatures now attained are however sufficiently high and the compounds so easy to prepare that smaller laboratories and even students can see the effect of the macroscopic quantum phenomenon which superconductivity is.

It also seems to us that our higher executives, present tonight, are really happy about our honour and achievements as well. This goes also for our universities.

What is further super about this superconductivity? Well, clearly that the testament of Alfred Nobel was followed literally by the Royal Academy of Sciences.

Georg and I regard it as a privilege that our fathers, who were both born in the same year anno Domini 1903, and that his mother, our families and friends, my wife and my daughter Sylvia could participate in this event.

You people in Sweden do these ceremonies with great style and ease, I hope I matched that a bit.

Thank you!

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1987, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1988

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1987


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MLA style: K. Alex Müller – Banquet speech. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Mon. 11 Dec 2023. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1987/muller/speech/>

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