Karl Alex Mueller is dead
Swiss Physics Nobel Laureate dies at the age of 95
Swiss Nobel Prize winner for physics Karl Alex Müller has died at the age of 95. He received the Nobel Prize in 1987 together with the German Georg Bednorz.
Published: 13 minutes ago
Müller died on January 9, according to obituaries from his family and his research laboratory IBM Research in the Tuesday edition of the “Tages-Anzeiger”. The family wrote that he fell asleep peacefully after enduring his final path in life with “perseverance and optimism”.
Born in Basel on April 20, 1927, the scientist began around 60 years ago as a research associate at the Zurich research laboratory IBM Research based in Rüschlikon. According to the ad, he headed the physics department from 1971 to 1985. “As a scientist, he was highly regarded internationally and inspired many colleagues to do something new with his work,” it said.
In 1986, Müller discovered high-temperature superconductivity together with Bednorz while searching for new superconductors. For this they received the Nobel Prize in Physics a year after their discovery.
Superconductivity occurs when a superconducting material is cooled to a critically low temperature, wrote the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences when awarding the Nobel Prize in 1987. Electricity then flows without resistance.
Until the discovery by Müller and Bednorz, only expensive helium was available as a coolant for superconductors, as the media release revealed. For 75 years, researchers searched for materials that remained superconducting even at higher temperatures.
With the new group of high-temperature superconductors, nitrogen could now be used as a coolant, which was cheaper, more efficient and easier to handle. Shortly thereafter, hundreds of laboratories around the world were working with materials similar to those of Müller and Bednorz.