8 August: Tribute to Nevill Francis Mott

Suman Kumar
2 Min Read
Nevill Francis Mott

Nevill Francis Mott (30 September 1905 – 8 August 1996) was a British physicist. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977.

Life and Career

Nevill Francis Mott was born on 30 September 1905, in Leeds, United Kingdom.

He attended Clifton College and later won a scholarship to St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he studied Natural Sciences. Mott’s interest in physics grew during his time at Cambridge, and he pursued his Ph.D. under the guidance of Ernest Rutherford at the University of Manchester.

After completing his doctorate, Mott worked on the application of quantum mechanics to the study of materials. In 1933, he became a professor at the University of Bristol, where he continued his research in solid-state physics. One of his significant achievements was the development of the theory of electrical and magnetic properties of disordered systems, which is now known as the “Mott transition” or “Mott insulator-metal transition.”

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During World War II, Mott contributed to the development of radar as part of the British government’s war effort. After the war, he returned to academia and served as the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge from 1954 to 1971.

Nevill Francis Mott passed away on 8 August 1996, in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.

Award and Legacy

In 1977, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Philip W. Anderson and John H. van Vleck, for their work on the theory of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems.

Mott’s legacy in the field of condensed matter physics is profound. His research laid the groundwork for the understanding of the behavior of electrons in disordered materials, such as glasses and amorphous semiconductors. His work significantly advanced the understanding of the properties of materials and has applications in various technological fields.

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