Robert Betts Laughlin (born November 1, 1950) is an American theoretical physicist who, with Horst L. Störmer and Daniel C. Tsui, was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics for his explanation of the fractional quantum Hall effect.

Laughlin was born in Visalia, California. He earned a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in 1972, and his Ph.D. in physics in 1979 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He had been a professor of physics at Stanford University from 1989 to 2004. Now he is the President of KAIST in Daejeon, South Korea.

Laughlin shares similar views to George Chapline on the existence of black holes.


Lauglin published a book entitled A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down in 2005, based in large part on discussions with Steve Chu. The book argues for emergence as a replacement for reductionism, in addition to general commentary on hot-topic issues.

Robert B Laughlin, A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down (2005) Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-03828-X

discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations.

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