from The Conversation
– this post authored by Michael Hartmann, Heriot-Watt University
British scientists David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”. The reference to “theoretical discoveries” makes it tempting to think their work will not have practical applications or affect our lives some day. The opposite may well be true.