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Stanford Report, October 3, 2001

Robert Laughlin

Robert Laughlin, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences; professor of physics and applied physics; at Stanford 1985-present. Awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics with Horst L. Störmer and Daniel C. Tsui "for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations."

Since receiving the prize, Laughlin has supported recruitment of talented new faculty and continued to expand the depth and scope of his own research, which is theoretical and focuses on how self-organization and self-assembly arise in nature. This theme is applicable in fields as diverse as cosmology and biology, explaining Laughlin's work on topics including subtle ordering phenomena in correlated-electron materials, the physics of transcription regulation in biology and the quantum mechanics of black holes. About one-third of his research students are undergraduates.


Nobel website: