Robert B. Laughlin Biography
Birthday: November 1, 1950 (Scorpio)
Born In: Visalia, California, United States
Robert B. Laughlin is an American physicist who received a share of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1998. An expert in semiconductors, he is also known for his work on plasma and nuclear physics issues related to fusion and nuclear-pumped X-ray lasers. As a theorist, his interests range from hard-core engineering to cosmology. The son of a lawyer and a schoolteacher, he grew up in a home where intellectual discussions were encouraged. He developed an early interest in physics and experimented with the electronic gadgets at home as a young boy. So much was his love for performing experiments that he would even occasionally perform potentially dangerous ones, much to the chagrin of his parents. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and proceeded to earn a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then joined the Theory Group at Bell Labs on the recommendation of his professors and began his exciting career in research. It was there that he became fascinated with semiconductors and began his collaborative work with Daniel C. Tsui and Horst L. Störmer that eventually led to the explanation of the fractional quantum Hall effect. The seminal work won the trio the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics.