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Fellows Directory

David Thouless

David Thouless

Professor David Thouless FRS


Elected: 1979


David Thouless made many important contributions to the theory of many-body problems. For nuclei, he cleared up the concept of ‘rearrangement energy’ and derived an expression for the moment of inertia of deformed nuclei. In statistical mechanics, he contributed many ideas to the understanding of ordering, including the concept of ‘topological ordering’. Other important results relate to localised electron states in disordered lattices.

Professor David Thouless FRS died on 6 April 2019.


  • Wolf Prize

    In the field of physics for a wide variety of pioneering contributions to our understanding of the organization of complex condensed matter systems, de Gennes especially for his work on macromolecular matter and liquid crystals and Thouless for his on disordered and low-dimensional systems.

  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    For theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter

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