Back to all news

October 6, 2016

Old Pauline Awarded Nobel Prize

In the early hours of Tuesday 4 October, Old Pauline Professor Duncan M Haldane (1965-69) made St Paul’s history when he received one of the most prestigious awards in the world – a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Professor Duncan Haldane, along with fellow British scientists David J Thouless and J Michael Kosterlitz, won the award for their study into exotic states of matter.

Based in the US, Haldane explains the importance of research and reveals how he celebrated his win with “a cup of coffee” in this telephone interview.

In separate communications with High Master Mark Bailey, he also revealed the influence of an inspirational physics teacher during his last year at St Paul’s – who he remembers simply as ‘Little Bill’ – in steering his future career. ‘Little Bill’ was, in fact, E.H. Williams who joined the staff at St Paul’s in September 1950, initially teaching both physics and chemistry. He became Head of Physics before retiring in 1970. The affectionate nickname may have been related to his height, but it also distinguished him from another contemporary member of staff, known as ‘Big Bill’, who was in charge of boxing.

The staff and pupils at St Paul’s have been overjoyed with Haldane’s remarkable achievement, setting a new standard amongst our aspiring young boys. Congratulations from the whole St Paul’s community Professor Duncan Haldane.

Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications, Denise Applewhite

Back to all news