J. Michael Kosterlitz


Interview, December 2016

Interview with the 2016 Nobel Laureate in Physics J. Michael Kosterlitz on 6 December 2016, during the Nobel Week in Stockholm, Sweden. Interviewer is freelance journalist Torill Kornfeldt.

J. Michael Kosterlitz talks about the artefact he brought to the Nobel Museum; what brought him to his research field (1:52); topology (4:42); practical applications of his work (11:30) and about persons who have inspired him (12:37).

Read the interview

Nobel Minds 2016

The 2016 Nobel Laureates gathered for a conversation about research, drive and vision on 11 December 2016. The conversation was filmed at the Grünewald Hall at Stockholm Concert Hall, and was hosted by BBC World’s Zeinab Badawi.

Interview, October 2016

“It just feels a little bit odd getting this news in an underground carpark outside Helsinki”.

Telephone interview with Michael Kosterlitz following the announcement of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, 4 October 2016. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Chief Scientific Officer of Nobel Media.

Interview transcript

Michael Kosterlitz: Hello?

Adam Smith: Hello, my name is Adam Smith. I’m calling from Nobel Media, which is the media organisation of the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm. We run the official website for the Nobel Prize. Have you already heard the news of the announcement of the Physics…?

MK: No, I haven’t heard anything. I’m talking from an underground car park in Helsinki, Finland, right now so I can barely hear you.

AS: It has just been announced in Stockholm that you are one of the recipients of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

MK: Jesus. That’s incredible.

AS: [Laughs]

MK: That’s amazing.

AS: So the Prize is given to yourself, Duncan Haldane and David Thouless for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.

MK: Oh that’s, yes, thank you, that’s, this is quite amazing. Thank you very much indeed.

AS: I must say you sound very calm.

MK: Er, yes. It just feels a little bit odd getting this news in an underground car park outside Helsinki.

AS: [Laughs] Actually, maybe remaining in the underground car park is a good option because you’ll be safe from the onslaught of press that will now descend.

MK: True, yes, but I guess I’ll have to face it eventually.

AS: I actually was given your number by your son at home, and I have to say he was absolutely elated.

MK: I’m sure that he is elated, but not half as elated as I am.

AS: [Laughs] That’s lovely. Oh, well, many congratulations from Nobelprize.org, and if you go to Nobelprize.org you will of course see the announcement of the news there.

MK: Thank you very much.

Did you find any typos in this text? We would appreciate your assistance in identifying any errors and to let us know. Thank you for taking the time to report the errors by sending us an e-mail.

To cite this section
MLA style: J. Michael Kosterlitz – Interview. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Wed. 19 Jun 2024. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2016/kosterlitz/interview/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.