2016 Physics Nobel Prize for Invetors of the Exotic Phase in Two Dimensional Systems

Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 was awarded to the three British physicists who worked in USA. They are David Thouless of Washington University, Duncan Haldane of Princeton University and John Kosterlitz from Brown University. Their contribution is in the field of theoretical physics that have revealed the existence of the exotic phase transition two-dimensional systems. This study in the realm of Condensed Matter Theoretical Physics.

Phase transitions as understood are ubiquitous phenomena. The most common example is the melting of ice into water due to heating, and evaporation of water into steam. This type of phase transition is commonly known as the first-order phase tranition, which can be observed macroscopically where there is a changes in the structure of matter. Kosterlitz and Thouless shows another type phase transition occurring microscopic scale, such as those experienced by a magnetic material.

Magnetic material at high temperatures would lose its magnetism, and when cooled down to a certain temperature will spontaneously become a magnet. The phenomenon of spontaneous magnetization successfully explained by a simple mathematical model, Ising model, according name of the inventor, Ernest Ising, is a pioneering research in the study of Kosterlitz-Thouless (KT) transition. If Ising considered conventional magnetic system, KT examined quasi magnetic material with phase transition between quasi-regular and paramagnetic.

To experience the exotic KT transition, interacting magnetic moments must have a planar symmetry, for example O(2) or C (n), and reside a two-dimensional structure. This phenomenon is in fact present in a number of physical systems, such as superconductivity and superfluid, and a number of other systems such as a thin layer and a chain of atoms and molecules. The interesting thing is that this subject was theoretically studied by KT in the mid 70s, which is then followed by Duncan Haldane studying a model of quantum system. The study is now known to apply in the invention of a number of advanced material, including in the development of quantum computers and advanced sensors for various applications.

As an appreciation and service to physics community, Physisical Review Journals, published by the American Physical Society had made the Nobels journals open, with the following links:

The 6th ICTAP Attended by Delegations from Seven Countries


Department of Physics in cooperation with the Indonesian Physical Society (HFI) Chapter Makassar hosted The 6th International Conference on Theoretical and Applied Physics. The Conference was held in conjuction with the 29th National Physics Symposium. These are annual events of the Indonesian Physical Society, which is for this year mandated to HFI Makassar and the Department of Physics, University of Hasanuddin.

There were approximately 100 delegates from seven countries, namely Japan, Korea, Thailand, India, Morocco, Malaysia and Indonesia. The event was oficially opened on October 20, 2016 by Vice Rector for Collaboration and Innovation, Prof. Budu, representing the Rector of the University. The Rector in his written speech expressed an appreciation to all the participants, especially the plenary speakers and the foreign participants who have made an effort and come to Hasanuddin University. With this seminar, University of Hasanuddin certainly get direct benefit, especially to extend the network of collaboration for researchers at Hasanuddin University, said Rector.

After the opening, the Vice Chancellor signed a Cooperation MOU between Unhas and Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI). The Institute is the research institute belonging to ASEAN based in Thailand. International cooperation agreement will allow researchers at Unhas using Synchrotron facility, a sophisticated spectroscopic instrument capable of providing information three-dimensional molecular structure of the material being studied.

The event then continued to the plenary session with speakers respectively are Prof. Jae Hee Kang (Korea), Prof. Yutaka Okabe (Japan), Prapong Klysubun, PhD (Thailand) and Prof. Halmar Halide (Indonesia). This session was chaired by by Dr. Alimuddin Hamzah Assagaf. Plenary session run from 09.30 until 12:00. Parallel sessions held starting at 13:30, after the lunch break. There are seven rooms in parallel, respectively roms for: theoretical physics and Computing, Physics Materials, New and Renewable Energy, Medical Physics, Optics and Instrumentation Physics, Geophysics and Physics Education. In each room there is an average of 10 speakers, with the allotted 15 minutes. Parallel session ended at 17:00 o’clock pm. The event was closed by the Dean of the Science Faculty, represented by Prof. Ivan Aziz, as Deputy Dean. The participants then took a picture with background Unhas Lake, right in front of Science and Technology Building,
the venue of the event.