Josephson, Brian David

Josephson, Brian David,

1940–, British physicist, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1964. After several postdoctoral appointments, he joined the faculty at Cambridge in 1974. Josephson was co-recipient, with Leo Esaki and Ivar Giaever, of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for his theoretical predictions of the properties of a super current through a tunnel barrier. Stimulated by Giaever's work on electron tunnelingtunneling,
quantum-mechanical effect by which a particle can penetrate a barrier into a region of space that would be forbidden by ordinary classical mechanics. Tunneling is a direct result of the wavelike properties of particles; the wave associated with a particle "decays"
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 in superconductors, Josephson began to work on the phenomenon, leading to his prediction of the so-called Josephson effect in 1962. The effect, which describes current flow across two weakly coupled superconductors separated by a thin insulating barrier, has important applications in quantum-mechanical circuits.

Josephson, Brian David


Born Jan. 4, 1940, in Wales. British physicist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1970).

Josephson graduated from Cambridge University in 1960 and received a Ph.D. from the university in 1964. He joined the university’s staff in 1967 and became a professor in 1974. Josephson’s principal works deal with theoretical physics. In 1962 he predicted the existence of a tunnel effect in superconductors separated by a thin dielectric layer (the Josephson effect).

Josephson received a Nobel Prize in 1973.

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