Ivar Giaever

Ivar Giaever

Giaever, Ivar, 1929-, Norwegian-American physicist, Ph.D. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1964. He was a researcher at General Electric from 1954 to 1988, when he joined the faculty at his alma mater; he retired in 2005 as professor emeritus. With Leo Esaki and Brian Josephson, Giaever received the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics for his experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in superconductors (see superconductivity). In the early 1960s, before he had even completed his doctoral work, Giaever built on Esaki's discovery of electron tunneling in semiconductors and showed that the phenomenon also occurred in superconductors. His experiments demonstrated the existence of an energy gap in superconductors, which was an important prediction of the BCS theory of superconductivity, for which Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1972.
Ivar Giaever (originally spelled Giæver) (born April 5, 1929 in Bergen, Norway) is a physicist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973 with Leo Esaki and Brian David Josephson for related work in solid-state physics. His role was specifically in electron tunneling phenomena in superconductors. Giaever is an institute professor emeritus at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a professor-at-large at the University of Oslo, and the president of Applied Biophysics.

Ivar Giaever earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1952 and emigrated from Norway to Canada in 1954, where he was employed by the Canadian division of General Electric and transferred to the United States. He has lived in Niskayuna, New York since then. While working for General Electric, Giaever earned a Ph.D. from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1964. In 1969, he researched biophysics for a year at Cambridge University, England.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, he has also been awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Prize by the American Physical Society in 1965, and the Zworykin Award by the National Academy of Engineering in 1974. Ivar Giaever is an enthusiastic global warming skeptic, as revealed in a 2008 meeting of Nobel prize winners in Lindau, Germany.

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