Karl Alexander Müller


Karl Alexander Müller

Infobox Scientist
name = Karl Alexander Müller


imagesize = 180px
caption = Alex Müller in 2001.
birth_date = Birth date and age|1927|4|20
birth_place = Basel, Switzerland
nationality = Switzerland
fields = Physics
workplaces = IBM Zürich Research Laboratory
University of Zurich
Battelle Memorial Institute
alma_mater = ETH Zürich
known_for = High-temperature superconductivity
awards = Nobel Prize in Physics (1987)

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

Biography

Karl Müller was born in Basel, Switzerland, on 20 April 1927. His family immediately moved to Salzburg, Austria, where his father was studying music.

He 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 he married Ingeborg Marie Louise Winkler. They had a son, Eric, in the summer of 1957, and a daughter, Silvia, in 1959.

Education

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 for seven years from 1938 to 1945, obtaining his baccalaureate (Mature). Thus he was a student in a neutral country during World War II. He attended classes which studied the world situation, and participated in discussion groups. This had a profound effect on his career, and life.

Müller then enrolled in the Physics and Mathematics Department of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, where he seriously considered studying electrical engineering. He took courses from Wolfgang Pauli, who made a deep impression on him. After receiving his diploma, he worked for one year, then returned to his studies, submitting his thesis at the end of 1957.

Career

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, which led to his accepting a position at the IBM Zürich Research Laboratory, in Rüschlikon, in 1963, where he remained until his retirement. In 1982 he became an IBM Fellow. From 1972 to 1985 Müller was manager of the Physics Groups. He is the Honorary Doctor of Technical University of Munich and University of Geneva.

Research

For his undergraduate diploma work, Müller studied under Prof. 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 the ETH on the Eidophor large-scale display system.

At IBM his research for almost 15 years centered on SrTiO3 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.

Nobel Prize winning work

In the early 1980s, Müller began searching for substances that would become superconductive at higher temperatures. The highest critical temperature attainable at that time was about 23 K. In 1983 Müller recruited J. 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 a barium-lanthanum-copper oxide 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.

They reported their discovery in the April 1986 issue of ‘’Zeitschrift für Physik’’. [cite journal
author = J. G. Bednorz and K. A. Müller
title = Possible highTc superconductivity in the Ba−La−Cu−O system
journal = Z. Physik, B
volume = 64
year = 1986
pages = 189–193
doi = 10.1007/BF01303701
issue = 1
] 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 went on to achieve superconductivity at the unimaginably high temperature of 93 K.

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 Nobel.

ee also

*Timeline of low-temperature technology

References

* [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1987/muller-autobio.html Autobiography posted at the Nobel Prize web site.]
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9054221/Karl-Alex-Muller Online Encyclopædia Britannica biographical article.]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Karl Alexander Muller — Karl Alexander Müller Alex Müller en 2001 Karl Alexander Müller (27 avril 1927) est un physicien suisse, prix Nobel de physique en 1987. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Karl Alexander Müller — Alex Müller am 15. Februar 2001 Karl Alexander Müller (* 20. April 1927 in Basel) ist ein Schweizer Physiker. Müller erhielt 1987 zusammen mit Johannes Georg Bednorz den Nobelpreis für Physik „für ihre bahnbrechende Entdeckung von Supraleitung in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Alexander Müller — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Müller. Alex Müller en 2001 Karl Alexander Müller (27 avril 1927 à Bâle en Suisse …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Karl Alexander Müller — Para otros usos de este término, véase Müller. Karl Alexander Müller el 15 de febrero de 2001 en Darmstadt, Alemania. Karl Alexander Müller (*Basilea, Suiza 1927) es un físico suizo galardonad …   Wikipedia Español

  • Karl Alexander Muller — n. K. Alex Müller (born 1927), Swiss physicist, 1987 Nobel Prize winner for Physics (together with J. Georg Bednorz) for his research and discovery of superconductivity …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Physiknobelpreis 1987: Johannes Georg Bednorz — Karl Alexander Müller —   Der deutsche und der schweizerische Physiker erhielten den Nobelpreis für ihre bahnbrechende Entdeckung von Supraleitung in keramischen Materialien.    Biografien   Johannes Georg Bednorz, * Neuenkirchen (Nordrhein Westfalen) 16. 5. 1950; …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Karl Alex Müller — Karl Alexander Müller Alex Müller en 2001 Karl Alexander Müller (27 avril 1927) est un physicien suisse, prix Nobel de physique en 1987. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Karl Alex Müller — Alex Müller am 15. Februar 2001 Karl Alexander Müller (* 20. April 1927 in Basel) ist ein Schweizer Physiker. Müller erhielt 1987 zusammen mit Johannes Georg Bednorz den Nobelpreis für Physik „für ihre bahnbrechende Entdeckung von Supraleitung in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Müller — ist der Name folgender Personen: Alexander Müller (Komponist) (1808–1863), deutscher Pianist, Chordirigent und Komponist; seit 1834 in Zürich; Freund Richard Wagners Alexander Müller (Politiker) (* 1955), deutscher Soziologe und Landespolitiker… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Karl Alexander von Müller — (* 20. Dezember 1882 in München; † 13. Dezember 1964 in Rottach Egern) war ein deutscher Historiker. Zu seinen unmittelbaren Schülern gehörten nationalsozialistische Politiker und Akademiker wie Baldur von Schirach, Rudolf Heß, Hermann Göring,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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