K. Alex Müller

Karl Alexander Müller (born April 20, 1927) is a Swiss physicist and Nobel laureate. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987 with Georg Bednorz for their work in superconductivity in ceramic materials.

Karl Alexander Müller
Karl Alexander Mueller
Alex Müller in 2001.
BornApril 20, 1927 (age 92)
Alma materETH Zürich
Known forHigh-temperature superconductivity
Spouse(s)Ingeborg Marie Louise Winkler (m. 1956; 2 children)
AwardsMarcel Benoist Prize (1986)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1987)
Wilhelm Exner Medal (1987).[1]
Scientific career
InstitutionsIBM Zürich Research Laboratory
University of Zurich
Battelle Memorial Institute


Müller was born in Basel, Switzerland, on 20 April 1927, to Irma (née Feigenbaum) and Paul Müller. His family immediately moved to Salzburg, Austria, where his father was studying music. Alex and his mother then moved to Dornach, near Basel, to the home of his grandparents. Then they moved to Lugano, in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, where he learned to speak Italian fluently. His mother died when he was 11.

In the spring of 1956 Müller married Ingeborg Marie Louise Winkler. They had a son, Eric, in the summer of 1957, and a daughter, Sylvia, in 1960. [1]


After his mother’s death, Müller was sent to school at the Evangelical College in Schiers, in the eastern part of Switzerland. Here he studied from 1938 to 1945, obtaining his baccalaureate (Matura).

Müller then enrolled in the Physics and Mathematics Department of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich. He took courses by Wolfgang Pauli, who made a deep impression on him. After receiving his Diplom, he worked for one year, then returned to ETH for a PhD, submitting his thesis at the end of 1957.


Müller joined the Battelle Memorial Institute in Geneva, soon becoming the manager of a magnetic resonance group. During this time he became a lecturer at the University of Zürich. In 1963 he accepted an offer as a research staff member at the IBM Zürich Research Laboratory in Rüschlikon, where he remained until his retirement. In parallel, he maintained his affiliation with University of Zurich where he was appointed professor in 1970. From 1972 to 1985 Müller was manager of the ZRL physics department. In 1982 he became an IBM Fellow. He received an honorary doctorate from Technical University of Munich and University of Geneva. In 1987 (before winning the Nobel Prize) he got an honorary degree (laurea honoris causa) in Physics from the University of Pavia.


Karl Alex Muller LANL
Müller in 2002

For his undergraduate diploma work, Müller studied under G. Busch. He worked on the Hall Effect in gray tin, a semimetal.

Between his undergraduate degree and beginning his graduate studies, he worked for one year in the Department of Industrial Research at ETH on the Eidophor large-scale display system.

At IBM his research for almost 15 years centered on SrTiO3 (strontium titanate) and related perovskite compounds. He studied their photochromic properties when doped with various transition-metal ions; their chemical binding, ferroelectric and soft-mode properties; and the critical and multicritical phenomena of their structural phase transitions. Important highlights of this research have been published in a book written together with Tom Kool from the University of Amsterdam (publisher: World Scientific).

Nobel Prize–winning work

In the early 1980s, Müller began searching for substances that would become superconductive at higher temperatures. The highest critical temperature (Tc) attainable at that time was about 23 K. In 1983 Müller recruited Georg Bednorz to IBM, to help systematically test various oxides. A few recent studies had indicated these materials might superconduct. In 1986 the two succeeded in achieving superconductivity in lanthanum barium copper oxide (LBCO) at a temperature of 35 K. Over the previous 75 years the critical temperature had risen from 11 K in 1911 to 23 K in 1973 where it had remained for 13 years. Thus 35 K was incredibly high by the prevailing standards of superconductivity research. This discovery stimulated a great deal of additional research in high-temperature superconductivity, leading to the discovery of compounds such as BSCCO (Tc = 107 K) and YBCO (T'c = 92 K).

They reported their discovery in the June 1986 issue of Zeitschrift für Physik B.[2] Before the end of the year, Shoji Tanaka at the University of Tokyo and then Paul Chu at the University of Houston had each independently confirmed their result. A couple of months later Chu achieved superconductivity at 93 K in YBCO, triggering a stampede of scientific interest exemplified by the 1987 "Woodstock of physics", at which Müller was a featured presenter.[3]

In 1987 Müller and Bednorz were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in physics—the shortest time between the discovery and the prize award for any scientific Nobel.

Other Honors

See also


  1. ^ Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.
  2. ^ J. G. Bednorz and K. A. Müller (1986). "Possible highTc superconductivity in the Ba−La−Cu−O system". Z. Phys. B. 64 (1): 189–193. Bibcode:1986ZPhyB..64..189B. doi:10.1007/BF01303701.
  3. ^ Chang, Kenneth (March 6, 2007). "Physicists Remember When Superconductors Were Hot". New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
Alexander Müller

Alexander Müller or Alex Müller is the name of:

K. Alex Müller (born 1927), Swiss physicist and Nobel laureate

Alex Müller (racing driver) (born 1979), German racing driver

Alexander Müller (skeleton racer), Austrian skeleton racer

Alexander Müller (composer) (1808–1863), German pianist, teacher, conductor and composer

April 20

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Boris Kochelaev

Boris Ivanovich Kochelaev (Russian: Бори́с Ива́нович Кочела́ев; born April 19, 1934) is a Soviet and Russian physicist, professor, Doktor Nauk.

EPS Europhysics Prize

The EPS Europhysics Prize is awarded (currently every 2nd year) since 1975 by the Condensed Matter Division of the European Physical Society, in recognition of recent work (completed in the 5 years preceding the attribution of the award) by one or more individuals, for scientific excellence in the area of condensed matter physics. It is one of Europe’s most prestigious prizes in the field of condensed matter physics. Several laureates of the EPS Europhysics Prize also received a Nobel Prize in Physics or Chemistry (Geim, Novoselov, Fert, Grünberg, Kroto, Smalley, Ertl, Bednorz, Müller, Binnig, Rohrer, von Klitzing, Alferov).

Georg Bednorz

Johannes Georg Bednorz (born May 16, 1950) is a German physicist who, together with K. Alex Müller, discovered high-temperature superconductivity in ceramics, for which they shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physics.

High-temperature superconductivity

High-temperature superconductors (abbreviated high-Tc or HTS) are materials that behave as superconductors at unusually high temperatures. The first high-Tc superconductor was discovered in 1986 by IBM researchers Georg Bednorz and K. Alex Müller, who were awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their important break-through in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials".Whereas "ordinary" or metallic superconductors usually have transition temperatures (temperatures below which they are superconductive) below 30 K (−243.2 °C) and must be cooled using liquid helium in order to achieve superconductivity, HTS have been observed with transition temperatures as high as 138 K (−135 °C), and can be cooled to superconductivity using liquid nitrogen. Until 2008, only certain compounds of copper and oxygen (so-called "cuprates") were known to have HTS properties, and the term high-temperature superconductor was used interchangeably with cuprate superconductor for compounds such as bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide (BSCCO) and yttrium barium copper oxide (YBCO). Several iron-based compounds (the iron pnictides) are now known to be superconducting at high temperatures.In 2015, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) under extremely high pressure (around 150 gigapascals) was found to undergo superconducting transition near 203 K (−70 °C), due the formation of H3S, a new record high temperature superconductor.For an explanation about Tc (the critical temperature for superconductivity), see Superconductivity § Superconducting phase transition and the second bullet item of BCS theory § Successes of the BCS theory.

IBM Fellow

An IBM Fellow is an appointed position at IBM made by IBM's CEO. Typically only four to nine (eleven in 2014) IBM Fellows are appointed each year, in May or June. It is the highest honor a scientist, engineer, or programmer at IBM can achieve.

Lanthanum barium copper oxide

Lanthanum barium copper oxide, or LBCO, was discovered in 1986 and was the first high temperature superconductor. Johannes Georg Bednorz and K. Alex Müller shared the 1987 Nobel Prize in physics for its discovery.

List of Fritz London Memorial Prizes

The Fritz London Memorial Prize was created to recognize scientists who made outstanding contributions to the advances of the field of Low Temperature Physics. It is traditionally awarded in the first session of the International Conference on Low Temperature Physics, which is sponsored by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. The prize is named in honor of Fritz London.

List of Honorary Doctors of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The List of Honorary Doctors of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) shows recipients of an honorary doctorate bestowed by NTNU and its precursors, the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) (1910–1967) and the University of Trondheim (UNiT) (1968–1996). The first honorary doctorates, at NTH, were granted in 1935.


Jean-Marc Triscone, Italy

James E. Young, USA2017

Charis Thompson, United States

Kristina Edström, Sweden

Robert Jackson, Great Britain and Sweden(visiting professor)2016

Artemis Alexiadou, Greece

Ottoline Leyser, Great Britain

Michael Marmot, Great Britain

Miguel Rubi, Spain2015

Elmgreen & Dragset, Denmark & Norway

Susan L. Cutter, United States

Bruce Beutler, United States2014

Suresh Raj Sharma, Nepal

Donald Sadoway, United States2013

Sergio Paoletti, Italy2012

Donald Glenn Byrne, Australia

Jens Norskov, Denmark2011

Eric Kandel, United States

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Norway2010

Chick Corea, United States

Ingrid Daubechies, United States

Ilkka Hanski, Finland

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Germany

Preben Terndrup Pedersen, Denmark2009

Piers Blaikie, United States

Thomas J.R. Hughes, United States2008

Fred Kavli, United States

Elinor Ostrom, United States2007

David Embury, Canada2006

Liv Ullmann, Norway

Hans Mooij, Netherlands2005

Chris Jenks, Great Britain2004Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, United States

Claus Michael Ringel, Germany2003

Carmen Andrade, Spania

Jon Elster, Norway2002

Suzanne Lacasse, United States

Toril Moi, Norway

Yuki Ueda, Japan2001

Joseph V. Bonventre, United States

David Hendry, Great Britain

Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, Japan2000

David Mumford, United States1998

Thomas Luckmann, United States1997

Liv Hatle, Norway

Frederick William Gehring, United States

Torsten Hägerstrand, Sweden

Karl Stenstadvold, Norway

Jürgen Warnatz, Germany1996

Raymond Ian Page, Great Britain

Arve Tellefsen, Norway1995

Helmer Dahl, Norway1994

Robert Glaser, United States

Mats Hillert, Sweden1993

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Iceland

Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, United States

Marshall B. Stranding, United States

Ernst H. Beutner, United States1992

Walter Eversheim, Germany

K. Alex Müller

Nick Newman, United States

Kenneth W. Hedberg

Robert Ader1985

Ivar Giæver, Norway

Edwin N. Lightfoot jr., United States

Olgierd Zienkiewicz, Spain1982

James William Fulbright, United States

James Hamilton, Denmark

Lars von Haartman, Finland

John W. Kanwisher, United States

Lars Y. Terenius, Sweden

Gunnar Kullerud, United States

Olof E. H. Rydbeck, Sweden

Ray William Clough, United States1976

Theodore Theodorsen, United States1972

John H. Argyris, Germany

Aage Bohr, Denmark

Matts Bäckstrøm, Sweden

Cornelis Jacobus Gorter, Netherlands

Knud Grue-Sørensen, Denmark

Einar Ingvald Haugen, United States

Lipke Bijdeley Holthuis, Netherlands

Knud Winstrup Johansen, Denmark

Ralph Kronig, Netherlands

Atle Selberg, United States1960

Alvar Aalto, Finland

Anker Engelund, Denmark

Ragnar Lundholm, Sweden

Lars Onsager, United States

Paul Scherrer, Switzerland

Frank Whittle, Great Britain

Ragnar Woxén, Sweden1935

Ragnar Liljeblad, Sweden

Ludwig Prandtl, Germany

Raymond Unwin, United States

List of Nobel laureates by university affiliation

This list of Nobel laureates by university affiliation shows comprehensively the university affiliations of individual winners of the Nobel Prize and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences since 1901 (as of 2018, 904 individual laureates in total). This list considers Nobel laureates as equal individuals and does not consider their various prize shares or if they received the prize more than once. It does not include Nobel-winning organizations (as of 2018, 24 such organizations) or any individuals affiliated with those organizations. In this list, universities are presented in descending order starting from those affiliated with most Nobel Prize winners.

The university affiliations in this list are all official academic affiliations such as degree programs and official academic employment, including academic positions at research organizations formally affiliated with or operated by a university. Non-academic affiliations such as advisory committee and administrative staff are generally excluded. The official academic affiliations fall into three categories: 1) Alumni (graduate & attendee), 2) Long-term academic staff, and 3) Short-term academic staff. Graduates are defined as those who hold Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate or equivalent degrees from a university, while attendees are those who formally enrolled in degree programs at a university but did not complete the programs; thus, honorary degrees, posthumous degrees, summer attendees, exchange students and auditing students are excluded. The category of "Long-term academic staff" consists of tenure/tenure-track and equivalent academic positions, while that of "Short-term academic staff" consists of lecturers (without tenure), postdoctoral researchers, visiting professors/scholars (visitors), and equivalent academic positions. At any university, the specific academic title solely determines the type of affiliation, regardless of the actual time the position was held by a laureate.

Further explanations on "visitors" under "Short-term academic staff" are now presented. 1) All informal/personal visits are excluded from the list; 2) all employment-based visiting positions, which carry teaching/research duties, are included as affiliations in the list; 3) as for award/honor-based visiting positions, this list takes a conservative view and includes the positions as affiliations only if the laureates were required to assume employment-level duty (teaching/research) or the laureates specifically classified the visiting positions as "appointment" or similar in reliable sources such as their curriculum vitae. To be specific, some award/honor-based visiting positions such as the "Morris Loeb Short-term Lectureship" at Harvard University and Guggenheim Fellowship are awards/honors/recognition without employment-level duty; attending meetings and giving public lectures, talks or non-curricular seminars are not employment-level duties. On the other hand, positive award/honor-based examples include "Morris Loeb Long-term Lectureship" at Harvard University (teaching duty), "Visiting Miller Professorship" at UC Berkeley (research duty) and Fulbright Scholarship. Finally, summer visitors are generally excluded from the list unless summer work yielded significant end products such as research publications and components of Nobel-winning work, since summer terms are not part of formal academic years; the same rule applies to extension schools of universities.

In this list, the number following a person's name is the year he/she received the prize; in particular, a number with asterisk (*) means the person received the award while he/she was working at the institution (including emeritus staff) containing that asterisk. A name underlined implies that this person has been listed for a same institution previously (i.e., multiple affiliations). If a person had multiple positions under one category, only the position with highest rank is listed.

Different universities adopt different criteria—from generous to conservative—for claiming Nobel affiliates, which may not encompass all types of affiliations in this list. The University Counts (Univ Counts), which are published by the universities themselves, are thus shown as comparison below. Finally, this list, together with the List of Fields Medal winners by university affiliation and the List of Turing Award laureates by university affiliation, presents the university affiliation of people who have won highest honors in fundamental academic disciplines.

Abbreviation: UG (Undergraduate), Grad (Graduate), Med (Medical), Atten (Attendee), Prof (Professor), Assoc (Associate), Asst (Assistant), Adj (Adjunct), PSD (Postdoc), Lect (Lecturer), Inst (Instructor), Res (Research/Researcher), Sci (Scientist), Fel (Fellow), Sch (Scholar), Vis (Visiting/Visitor).

List of Swiss inventors and discoverers

This is a list of Swiss inventors and discoverers. The following list comprises people from Switzerland, and also people of predominantly Swiss heritage, in alphabetical order of the surname.

List of Swiss people

This is a list of people associated with the modern Switzerland and the Old Swiss Confederacy. Regardless of ethnicity or emigration, the list includes notable natives of Switzerland and its predecessor states as well as people who were born elsewhere but spent most of their active life in Switzerland. For more information see the articles Swiss people and Demographics of Switzerland.

Middle European Cooperation in Statistical Physics

The Middle European Cooperation in Statistical Physics (MECO) is an international conference on statistical physics which takes place every year in a different country of Europe. MECO evolved in the early 1970s with the aim of bridging the gap between the communities of scientists from the Eastern and Western parts of Europe, separated as they were by the iron curtain. Since then, MECO conferences have become the yearly nomadic reference meetings for the community of scientists who are active in the field of Statistical Physics in the broader sense, including modern interdisciplinary applications to biology, Finance , information theory, and quantum computation.

Robert Hazen

Robert Miller Hazen (born November 1, 1948) is an American mineralogist and astrobiologist. He is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, in the United States. Hazen is the Executive Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory.


Superconductivity is a phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic flux fields occurring in certain materials, called superconductors, when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature. It was discovered by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes on April 8, 1911, in Leiden. Like ferromagnetism and atomic spectral lines, superconductivity is a quantum mechanical phenomenon. It is characterized by the Meissner effect, the complete ejection of magnetic field lines from the interior of the superconductor during its transitions into the superconducting state. The occurrence of the Meissner effect indicates that superconductivity cannot be understood simply as the idealization of perfect conductivity in classical physics.

The electrical resistance of a metallic conductor decreases gradually as temperature is lowered. In ordinary conductors, such as copper or silver, this decrease is limited by impurities and other defects. Even near absolute zero, a real sample of a normal conductor shows some resistance. In a superconductor, the resistance drops abruptly to zero when the material is cooled below its critical temperature. An electric current through a loop of superconducting wire can persist indefinitely with no power source.In 1986, it was discovered that some cuprate-perovskite ceramic materials have a critical temperature above 90 K (−183 °C). Such a high transition temperature is theoretically impossible for a conventional superconductor, leading the materials to be termed high-temperature superconductors. The cheaply-available coolant liquid nitrogen boils at 77 K, and thus superconduction at higher temperatures than this facilitates many experiments and applications that are less practical at lower temperatures.

Thomas Maurice Rice

Thomas Maurice Rice (born 26 January 1939 in Dundalk, Ireland; known professionally as Maurice Rice) is an Irish (and naturalised American) theoretical physicist specializing in condensed matter physics.

Timeline of materials technology

Major innovations in materials technology


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