Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from K-O

Mott, Sir Nevill Francis

research physics electronic disordered

(1905–96) British physicist: discovered aspects of the electronic structure of disordered materials.

Mott’s parents both worked at the Cavendish Laboratory and he studied mathematics at Cambridge. He became a lecturer and Fellow there, working with , and later with in Copenhagen. With H Massey (1908–83) he applied the new quantum mechanics to the scattering of particles in atomic physics, and established this field. At 28 Mott moved to a professorship at Bristol and, influenced by H Jones, became interested in solid-state physics. Close collaboration between theoreticians and experimentalists led to rapid progress. Metal and alloy behaviour (with Jones) and ionic crystals (with R W Gurney) formed the subject of books by Mott. Work during the Second World War led to research on dislocation, defects and material strengths. In 1954 he moved to the Cavendish professorship and started research on the transition between metallic and insulating behaviour (the Mott transition). He decisively shaped the Cavendish Laboratory’s research activities, and ‘retired’ in 1965.

Then at 60 he returned to full-time research, choosing to work on the new area of non-crystalline semiconductors and immediately recognizing the significance of papers on electronic localization. Once again he published a classic text on his interest (with E A Davis), which established a complex but rapidly growing area of research. Mott was knighted in 1962 and shared the 1977 Nobel Prize for physics for his work on the electronic properties of disordered materials.

Mott was one of the major theoretical physicists of the 20th-c, opening new and difficult areas of solid-state physics and materials science. He influenced a generation in showing how to model the complexity of physical problems such as fracture of metals or electronic processes in disordered semiconductors.

Mousey [next] [back] Motion Picture Inpainting on Aged Films - Motion Estimation and Defect Block Detection

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or