Born Sept. 30, 1905, in Leeds. British physicist.
Mott graduated from Cambridge University. He taught at the University of Manchester in 1929 and 1930 and at Cambridge University from 1930 to 1933. From 1933 to 1954, he was a professor at the University of Bristol; he was the director of the university’s physical research laboratories from 1948 to 1954. Mott was the director of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University from 1954 to 1971 and was the master of the university’s Gonville and Caius College from 1959 to 1966. From 1971 to 1973, he was a fellow at the Imperial College. He was the president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics from 1951 to 1957.
Mott’s main works deal with quantum mechanics, solid-state physics, and the theory of atomic collisions. In 1929, Mott predicted the effect of electronic polarization in electron scattering by atoms and derived an equation, called the Mott scattering formula, for the effect. In 1932 he developed the theory of internal conversion. He explained the effect of current rectification on the energy barrier for conduction electrons, thus contributing to the Mott-Schottky theory (seeSCHOTTKY EFFECT). Mott proposed a theory of the thermal electromotive force in metals. He also developed the theory of the electrical conductivity of disordered systems, for which he received a Nobel Prize in 1977.
Mott is a fellow of the Royal Society of London. He is an honorary member of the Leopoldina German Academy of Naturalists and of other academies and scientific societies throughout the world.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Elektronnye protsessy v ionnykh kristallakh. Moscow, 1950. (With R. Gurney.)
Teoriia atomnykh stolknovenii. Moscow, 1969. (With H. Massey.)
Elektrony v neuporiadochennykh strukturakh. Moscow, 1969.