John R. Kirtley
John R. Kirtley received his B.A. in 1971 and his Ph.D. in 1976, both in physics, from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After a post-doctoral position at The University of Pennsylvania, he joined IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in 1978, where he remained until becoming a Research Staff Member Emeritus in 2006. He is now a consulting professor in the Applied Physics Department at Stanford University. In 1998 he shared the Oliver E. Buckley prize in condensed matter physics with C. C. Tsuei, D. J. van Harlingen, and D. M. Ginsberg. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, won the Humboldt Forschungspreis in 2007, was a Jubileum Professor at Chalmers University in Sweden the same year, and will hold a Chair d’Excellence from the CNR in Grenoble, France, 2010–2013.
Defects—in the form of vortices in superconductors or “strings” in the fabric of the universe—can reveal the state of a system at the time it was cooled.