IISc, Bengaluru; Elected Fellow IASc: 1980 (Physics), Council Service: 2004–2009; President 2004–2006
Session 2A - Special Lecture
PW Anderson: An Epochal Figure In Physics View Presentation
PW Anderson was perhaps the most significant figure in condensed matter physics in the second half of the twentieth century. The emergence of solid state physics (which is much of the content of condensed matter physics) from obscurity in the early 1950s to the centre stage of Physics is due largely to him. Many of the foundational ideas in the field and even the name are due to him. In this talk, the speaker will sketch Anderson’s life and work briefly. In the latter, he will touch upon Anderson’s work in disordered systems (discovery of Anderson localization for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1977), magnetism and superconductivity. Then the speaker will mention Anderson’s phenomena driven stance in physics and his emphasis on mechanism. Finally, the speaker will outline Anderson’s revival of emergence as a basic principle in science, focusing on the example of broken symmetry in condensed matter physics.