Ivar Giaever is a Norwegian-American physicist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973.

Life and Career

He was born on 5 April 1929, in Bergen, Norway. He earned his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim in 1952.

He went on to work at the General Electric (GE) Research Laboratory in New York, where he made significant contributions to the field of superconductivity.

In 1960, he established that tunneling also took place in superconductors. He conducted the experiment with a thin layer of oxide, coated with layers of superconducting metals. The experiment also demonstrated the existence of an energy gap, which is an energy range where no electron states can exist.

After that, he earned his Ph.D. in physics at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in 1964. His thesis work focused on the properties of superconductors.

In 1969, his interest turned to biophysics. On receiving Guggenheim Fellowship, he traveled to England and spent one year at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, working on biophysics.

In 1970, he returned to the General Electric Research and Development Center, where he continued working on biophysics. In the following year, he began his work on the behavior of protein molecules at solid surfaces and the interaction of cells with surfaces.
In May 1973, he was elected a Coolidge Fellow at General Electric for this work. Also in the same year, he received his Nobel Prize.
Nonetheless, he continued his work on biophysics, trying to use physical methods and thoughts to solve biological problems. In 1988, he left General Electric and joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as an Institute Professor. Concurrently he also served as a Professor at the University of Oslo, Norway. .

Later in his career, Giaever became interested in climate change and became a vocal skeptic of the mainstream scientific consensus on the issue. He has made controversial statements about climate change, including denying the link between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming.

Award and Legacy

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973, along with Leo Esaki and Brian Josephson, for their work on quantum tunneling phenomena in solids.

He has received many other awards and honors for his contributions to physics, including the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize from the American Physical Society in 1965, the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement in 1966, the Zworykin Award by the National Academy of Engineering in 1975, and the National Medal of Science from the United States government in 1979.

He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters.

Despite the controversy surrounding his views on climate change, Giaever’s contributions to physics have earned him a place among the most influential scientists of the 20th century. His work on electron tunneling has had a profound impact on the field of condensed matter physics, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of physicists today.

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