Our warmest congratulations go to our long standing member Mike Kosterlitz who has been awarded a share of the 2016 Nobel Prize for physics.
Glyn Hughes shares some personal memories of Mike as a mountaineer.:
“After graduating from University in 1963 I spent six weeks in the Dolomites and the Alps before starting work. My main climbing partner on this trip was Mike Kosterlitz, who has just become joint winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics. This was probably the high point of my climbing career, but just the beginning for Mike. He followed this by becoming one of the leading British climbers in the UK and the Alps at that time, and one of the first to tackle hard routes in Yosemite. Perhaps best known for the Kosterlitz/Isherwood route on Piz Badile (known locally as the ‘via degli Inglesi’, although Mike is of course Scottish), climbed in 1968 when they went off-route on the Corti-Battaglia, and now a classic route of that area.* In 1969 Mike took up a research post at the University of Torino, and during this period pioneered routes in the Orco valley, including the ‘Fessura Kosterlitz’, a notorious test piece for crack climbers. Shortly after this, illness forced him to give up climbing at a very early age, otherwise what more might he have achieved? I met him at a reunion dinner in Cambridge in 2006, and asked him what he was doing now. He started explaining his research work to me, but unfortunately I couldn’t understand a word of it. Presumably the Nobel prize jury did!”
* See Dick Isherwood's account of the climb in AJ 1969.
This Guardian article gives more information about the Nobel prize for physics winners.
Mike Kosterlitz & Oliver Spence on the Yellow Edge on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Photo Glyn Hughes)