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AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects




Archival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

K. A. Müller



April 20, 1927 – present

Authorized Form of Name

Müller, K. A. (Karl A.), 1927-

Additional Forms of Names

Müller, K. Alex (Karl Alex), 1927-

Müller, Karl A.

Müller, Karl Alexander, 1927-



K. Alex Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987, alongside J. Georg Bednorz, "for their important break-through in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials." His research went beyond his field and made valuable changes to the way electric power was generated and transmitted in everyday life. He has held positions at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory and the Battelle Memorial Institute in Geneva.

Important Dates

April 20, 1927Birth, Basel (Switzerland).

circa 1945Obtained BSc degree, Evengelical College, Schiers (Switzerland).

1958Obtained PhD, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich), Zurich (Switzerland).

1958Staff and Manager, Magnetic Resonance Research group, Battelle Memorial Institute, Geneva (Switzerland).

1963 – 1992Researcher (1963-1973); Director, Physics Division (1973-1987); and Fellow (1982), IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Ruschlikon, Zurich (Switzerland).

1970Appointed Professor, University of Zurich (Universität Zürich), Zurich (Switzerland).

1986Awarded Marcel-Benoist Prize, Marcel Benoist Foundation (Marcel Benoist Stiftung).

1987Awarded Robert Wichard Pohl Prize, German Physical Society.

1987Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics with J. Georg Bednorz, "for their important break-through in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials".

1987Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science, University of Geneva (Université de Genève).

1987Honorary Faculty of Physics, Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München).

1987Honorary Doctoral degree, Universita degli Studi di Pavia (Università di Pavia).

1987Awarded Thirteenth Fritz London Memorial Award, Duke University.

1987Awarded the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, American Physical Society & American Institute of Physics.

1988Honorary Doctorate degree, University of Leuven.

1988Awarded Minnie Rosen Award, Ross University.

1988Awarded Hewlet Packard Europhysics Prize, European Physical Society.

1988Honorary Doctorate degree, University of Darmstadt (Technische Universität Darmstadt).

1988Honorary Doctorate degree, Tel-Aviv University, Israel (Universiṭat Tel-Aviv).

1988Honorary Doctorate degree, Boston University.

1988Awarded APS International Prize for New Materials Research, American Physical Society.

1989Foreign Associate Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1989Awarded Special Tsukuba Award, University of Tsukuba.

1989Honorary Doctorate degree, Universidad Politecnica.

1989Honorary Doctoral degree, University of Nice (Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis).

1990Honorary Doctorate degree, University of Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum).

1990Honorary Doctorate degree, University of Rome (Universita degli Studi di Roma).


High temperature superconductivity physicist.



Basel (Switzerland)

Undergraduate Education

Schiers (Switzerland)

Graduate Education

Zurich (Switzerland)


Geneva (Switzerland)

Zurich (Switzerland)






Muller, Eric


Muller, Silva


Winkler, Ingeborg Marie Louise

Wife, married 1956.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bednorz, J. G. (Johannes Georg), 1950-

Advised by Müller at ETH; shared Nobel Prize in 1987 "for their important break-through in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials;" and co-won numerous awards.

Binnig, Gerd, 1947-

Researcher under Muller, IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Ruschlikon.

Busch, Georg, 1908-

PhD advisor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958

Advisor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Rohrer, Heinrich, 1933-2013

Advised by Müller at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory.

Scherrer, Paul

Advisor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Speiser, Ambros P., 1922-

Manager at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, Ruschlikon.

Thiemann, Hugo Ernst, 1917-2012

Manager at Battelle Memorial Institute, Geneva.


Kitazawa, K. (Koichi), 1943-


Major Positions

Battelle Memorial Institute

Researcher and Manager, Magnetic Resonance Group.

IBM Zürich Research Laboratory

Researcher; Director, Physics Division; and Fellow.

Universitat Zurich

Lecturer and Professor of Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Institute of Physics

Awarded Dannie Heineman Prize (1987).

American Physical Society

Awarded APS International Prize for New Materials Research (1988), and Dannie Heineman Prize (1987).

Boston University. Department of Physics

Honorary Doctorate degree (1988).

Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (1963- )

Awarded Robert Wichard Pohl Prize (1987).

Duke University. Department of Physics

Awarded Thirtheenth Fritz London Memorial Award (1987).

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Received PhD (1958).

European Physical Society

Awarded Hewlet Packard Europhysics Prize (1988).

Marcel Benoist Stiftung

Awarded Marcel Benoist Prize (1986).

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Foreign Associate Member.

Ross University

Awarded Minnie Rosen Award (1988).

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Honorary Doctorate degree (1990).

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Honorary Doctorate degree (1988).

Technische Universität München

Honorary Faculty of Physics.

Tsukuba Daigaku

Awarded Special Tsukuba Award (1989).

Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

Honorary Doctorate degree (1989).

Università di Pavia

Honorary Doctorate degree (1987).

Università di Roma

Honorary Doctorate degree (1990).

Universiṭat Tel-Aviv

Honorary Doctorate degree (1988).

Université catholique de Louvain (1835-1969)

Honorary Doctorate degree (1988).

Université de Genève

Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science (1987).

Universite de Nice-Sophia Antipolis

Honorary Doctorate degree (1989).


Archival Resources


Oral history interview with Koichi Kitazawa, 1994 January 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Video Interviews with Nobel Prize Winners in Physics, 2004-2006.

Sussex Innovation Centre

Vega Science Trust

Brighton BN1 9SB, England UK

Published Resources


Earlier and recent aspects of superconductivity: lectures from the international school, Erice, Trapani, Siciliy, July 4-16, 1989 / J. G. Bednorz, K.A. Mullers (eds.).


Encyclopedia Britannica: Karl Alex Müller, Swiss Physicist

K. Alex Müller Nobel Prize biography.

Magnet Academy: Karl Alexander Müller