2017 Great Immigrants Recipient

David Thouless
Emeritus Professor, Department of Physics, University of Washington
Born in:
Scotland

Born in 1934 in Bearsden, Scotland, Thouless earned his undergraduate degree in 1955 from Cambridge University and a doctorate degree in 1958 from Cornell University, where he studied under physicist and Nobel laureate Hans Bethe. Thouless was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, before returning to the United Kingdom to work with world-renowned physicist Rudolf Peierls at the University of Birmingham. At Birmingham, where he was a professor of mathematical physics from 1965 to 1978, Thouless began a pivotal collaboration with Kosterlitz which overturned prevailing theories on how matter behaves in flat, two-dimensional environments. Updated July 2017