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Former Sussex colleagues welcome Nobel Prize for physicist

* 8 October 2003 *

Former Sussex colleagues welcome Nobel Prize for physicist

Former academic colleagues of a Nobel Prize winning physicist have shared their delight at news of his success.

Professor Anthony Leggett, 65, who worked at the University of Sussex from 1967-83, has been awarded a share in this year's Nobel Prize for Physics, for his work at Sussex on the theory of superfluids.

Dr David Waxman, who was a research student of Professor Leggett's at Sussex and now teaches at the University, described the new Nobel laureate as a "very modest man". "If you were standing in a room next to him you probably wouldn't even notice him," he said. "But if you speak to him he will speak twice as quickly as you, think twice as fast and twice as deeply."

Former colleague David Bailin, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Sussex, described the prize as "the crowning achievement of Tony's life". He added: "He is receiving it in the company of some extremely accomplished physicists."

"I'm absolutely delighted for him," said Professor Douglas Brewer, who headed up the low-temperature research group in which Professor Leggett worked at the University of Sussex.

It was there, during the 1970s, that Professor Leggett formulated what the Nobel Foundation described as "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.

Professor Leggett became a Lecturer in Physics at the University of Sussex in 1967. In 1971 he was promoted to Reader, before becoming Professor in 1978. He is now based at the University of Illinois.

The prestigious £800,000 award, joint with Russians Alexei Abrikosov and Vitaly Ginzburg, was announced on 7 October by the Nobel Foundation. The prize-giving ceremony 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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