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K. Alex Müller

K. Alex MüllerAKA Karl Alexander Müller

Born: 20-Apr-1927
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: Switzerland
Executive summary: High-temperature superconductivity

Military service: Swiss Army

Swiss physicist K. Alex Müller, working at IBM with his former student J. Georg Bednorz, showed in 1986 that a mixture of barium, lanthanum, copper, and oxygen attained superconductivity (disappearance of electrical resistance at extremely low temperatures) at 35 K. While this is almost unimaginably cold, it was substantially higher than temperatures at which superconductivity had been previously observed in any other materials. The article announcing their discovery was published in September 1986, and thirteen months later Müller and Bednorz were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Father: Paul
Mother: Irma (d. 1938)
Wife: Ingeborg Marie Louise Winkler (m. 1956)
Son: Eric (dentist, b. 1957)
Daughter: Silvia (kindergarten teacher)

    High School: Evangelical College, Schiers, Switzerland
    University: PhD, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (1958)
    Professor: University of Zürich

    IBM Fellow 1982
    Marcel Benoist Award 1986 (with J. Georg Bednorz)
    Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics 1987 (with J. Georg Bednorz)
    Fritz London Memorial Prize 1987 (with J. Georg Bednorz)
    GPS Robert Wichard Pohl Prize 1987 (with J. Georg Bednorz)
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1987 (with J. Georg Bednorz)
    Agilent Technologies Europhysics Prize 1988 (with J. Georg Bednorz)
    APS International Prize for New Materials Research 1988 (with J. Georg Bednorz)
    IBM Director of Physics, Zürich Research Laboratory (1972-)
    IBM Zürich Research Laboratory (1963-72)
    Battelle Memorial Institute Geneva, Switzerland (1959-63)
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate, 1989

Author of books:
Properties of Perovskites and Other Oxides (2010, physics; with Tom W. Kool)

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