Bertrand Halperin

Bertrand I. Halperin (born December 6, 1941) is the Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at the physics department of Harvard University.[1]

Bert Halperin
Born (1941-12-06) December 6, 1941
NationalityUnited States
Alma materHarvard University
University of California, Berkeley
Known forHexatic phase
Quantum Hall effect
AwardsOliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize (1982)
Lars Onsager Prize (2001)
Wolf Prize in Physics (2003)
Scientific career
InstitutionsHarvard University
Doctoral advisorJohn J. Hopfield

Halperin was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he grew up in the Crown Heights neighborhood. His mother was Eva Teplitzky Halperin and his father Morris Halperin. His mother was a college administrator and his father a customs inspector. Both his parents were born in USSR. His paternal grandmother's family the Maximovs claimed descent from Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, the BESHT.

He attended Harvard University (class of 1961), and did his graduate work at Berkeley with John J. Hopfield (PhD 1965).[1] In the 1970s, he, together with David R. Nelson, worked out a theory of two-dimensional melting, predicting the hexatic phase before it was experimentally observed by Pindak et al. In the 1980s, he made contributions to the theory of the Integral and Fractional Quantum Hall Effect. His recent interests lie in the area of strongly interacting low-dimensional electron systems.[2]

Halperin was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1982.[3] In 2001, he was awarded the Lars Onsager Prize.[4] In 2003, he and Anthony J. Leggett were awarded the Wolf Prize in physics.[5] In 2016 he was Lise Meitner Distinguished Lecturer.[6]

In 2018, he was awarded the 2019 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research.[2]

Selected bibliography

  • Halperin, Bertrand I.; Anderson, Philip W.; Varma, Chandra M. (January 1972). "Anomalous low-temperature thermal properties of glasses and spin glasses". Philosophical Magazine. 25 (1): 1–9. Bibcode:1972PMag...25....1A. doi:10.1080/14786437208229210. Pdf.


  1. "Halperin, Bertrand I." American Institute of Physics. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  2. "2019 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research Awarded to Bertrand I. Halperin". APS News. 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019. Among his many honors, Halperin is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition to his APS awards, he received the Dannie Heineman Prize of the Göttingen Akademie der Wissenschaften, the Lars Onsager Lecture and Medal of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, an honorary doctorate from the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Lise Meitner Lecture and Medal, and the Wolf Prize in Physics.
  3. "Bertrand Halperin". NAS Member Directory. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  4. "2001 Lars Onsager Prize Recipient". APS Physics. Retrieved January 7, 2019. For his wide-ranging contributions to statistical physics and quantum fluids, especially the elucidation of the quantum Hall effect and other low-dimensional electronic phenomena; and for his exemplary leadership in bringing theory to bear on the understanding of experiments.
  5. Sa'ar, Relly (January 15, 2003). "Multinational Winners of Wolf Prizes for Mathematics, Physics and Agriculture". Haaretz. Retrieved January 7, 2019. This year's Wolf Prize for physics will be awarded to Professor Bertrand Halperin of Harvard University and Professor Anthony Leggett of Illinois University. The jury said the prize was in recognition of the researchers' contribution to the field of condensed matter theory. Halperin, 61, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has been a professor at Harvard since 1976.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Andrew Gleason
Hollis Chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy
Succeeded by
current incumbent

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