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Fellows Directory

Brian Josephson

Brian Josephson

Professor Brian Josephson FRS


Elected: 1970





Brian Josephson is a theoretical physicist who conducted pioneering work on superconductivity and quantum tunnelling whilst still a postgraduate student. Brian theoretically predicted the existence of the now eponymous Josephson effect, whereby an electric current can flow across a thin insulating layer or ‘tunnel’ at the junction of two superconducting materials. He was a co-recipient of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for this research.

His findings have enabled the development of highly sensitive magnetometers, known as superconducting quantum interference devices. In the late 1970s, Brian became actively involved in the scientific analysis of parapsychology. He later set up the Mind–Matter Unification Project at Cambridge, which attempts to clarify the role of the mind in nature.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Brian’s achievements have been recognised by the 1972 Hughes Medal of the Royal Society and membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1974, amongst other honours. In 2004, he was voted as one of the top 100 Welsh men and women of all time.

Professional positions

Fellow, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
Professor Emeritus of Physics, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Mathematical and theoretical physics


physics, mind, fundamental theories, parapsychology


  • Hughes Medal

    Particularly for his discovery of the remarkable properties of junctions between superconducting materials.

  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    Half of prize for his theoretical predictions of the properties of a supercurrent through a tunnel barrier, in particular those phenomena which are generally known as the Josephson effects.

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