Nevill Francis Mott Biography
(Physicist Who Won the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics for His Work on Electronic, Magnetic, and Disordered Systems)
Birthday: September 30, 1905 (Libra)
Born In: Leeds, England
Nevill Francis Mott was an English physicist who won a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977 for his work on the magnetic and electrical properties of noncrystalline, or amorphous, semiconductors. He clarified the reasons why magnetic or amorphous materials can sometimes be metallic and sometimes insulating. Born to highly educated parents with scientific inclinations, he inherited his parents’ love for scientific enquiries and proceeded to study mathematics and theoretical physics at Clifton College, Bristol, and St. John's College, Cambridge. He went on to perform research in Cambridge under R.H. Fowler, in Copenhagen under Niels Bohr and in Göttingen under Max Born, before starting his career as a Lecturer in the Physics Department at the University of Manchester. After spending some years working in several institutions, he became Cavendish professor of experimental physics at the University of Cambridge, a position he held till his retirement. His early experiments focused on the theoretical analysis of collisions in gases and nuclear problems and later widened to cover solid-state physics including studies of metals and metal alloys, semiconductors, and photographic emulsions. Eventually his work on the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems, especially amorphous semiconductors earned him a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1977.