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Former Sussex physics professor wins Nobel Prize

* 7 October 2003 *

Former Sussex physics professor wins Nobel Prize

A former professor of physics at the University of Sussex has been awarded a share in this year's Nobel Prize for Physics, for his work at Sussex on the theory of superfluids.

The prestigious award for Anthony Leggett, joint with Russians Alexei Abrikosov and Vitaly Ginzburg, was announced today (7 October) by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm (

Superfluids are used to study the fundamentals of matter. Knowledge about superfluid liquids can give us deeper insight into the ways in which matter behaves in its lowest and most ordered state.

Professor Leggett is a theoretical physicist who did fundamental work while at the University of Sussex in the 1970s and formulated "a decisive theory" explaining how atoms interact and are ordered in the superfluid state. On the basis of his findings, recent studies show how this order passes into chaos or turbulence.

Although now a US resident and citizen, Professor Leggett was born and educated in the UK. He became a Lecturer in Physics at the University of Sussex in 1967. In 1971 he was promoted to Reader and then in 1978 to Professor of Physics. He left Sussex in 1983 to move to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The three winners will receive an equal share of 10 million Swedish kronor, as well as a medal and a diploma. The award of the Nobel Prizes, which are named after the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, will take place in Stockholm on 10 December.

The University of Sussex already has two Nobel Prize winners on its faculty: chemists Professor Sir John Cornforth, who was awarded the Prize in 1975 "for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions", and Professor Sir Harry Kroto, who received it in 1996 for his co-discovery of fullerenes.

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