Three British scientists -- David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz -- on Tuesday won the Nobel Physics Prize for revealing the secrets of exotic matter, the Nobel jury said.
"This year's laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films. Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter," the jury said.
The Nobel Committee said the work had "opened the door on an unknown world".
The laureates will share the eight million Swedish kronor (around $931,000) prize sum. Thouless won one-half of the prize, while Haldane and Hosterlitz share the other half.
The laureates' discoveries had helped scientists in designing new materials.
Topology, in which the three laureates specialise, is a branch of mathematics that investigates physical properties of matter and space that remain unchanged under deforming forces, including stretching.
"They demonstrated that superconductivity could occur at low temperatures and also explained the mechanism, phase transition, that makes superconductivity disappear at higher temperatures," the jury noted.
Although British in origin, the three individuals all now live and work in the United States.
IMAGE: From left, David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz. Photograph: The Nobel Prize/Twitter