Philip Anderson

Professor Emeritus
Email Address: 
Office Location: 
339 Jadwin Hall


Joseph Henry Professor of Physics

I am a condensed matter theorist, a field in which I played the role of a major agenda-setter for 40 or so years (in fact I believe a colleague and I named the field in 1967 when we named our group in Cambridge--before that it was "solid state theory"). On occasional forays outside CMT I worked on pulsar glitches with David Pines and invented the "Higgs" boson in 1962. Since 1987 I have worked in that field almost exclusively on "High-Tc" superconductivity, a terribly complex and controversial field in which my contributions have at least the virtue of longevity. I became emeritus in 1997 at Princeton, where I have been since 1975; but my longest association was with Bell Labs 1949-84.

I got into the Santa Fe Institute universe via the condensed matter phenomenon of the "spin glass', which I named in 1970 and produced the first theory with Sir Sam Edwards in 1975. Via work with Kirkpatrick and palmer, and later Stein, we came to realise that this was an important link between statistical physics and complex optimisation, and in the latter guise it spawned algorithms(simulated annealing), work on computational complexity, on neural nets (the Hopfield model etc), and on evolution on rugged landscapes. This was part of the Santa Fe Institute "toolkit" in the early days which for instance we showed off to John Reed of Citicorp in 1986.

I also had developed an interest in economics via dilletantish studies in Cambridge, and was glad to help organise the global economy workshop in 1987, choosing a group of hard scientists to try to mesh with Arrow's ten economists, apparently with some success. I retain a watching interest in econ especially in pareto distributions on which I have one article and lots of acknowledgements.

An older theme arose from my 1971 article "More is Different", which I follow up by writing on topics in epistemology of science.

My earlier interests included Spectral Line Broadening, Magnetism, Broken Symmetry, Superfluidity in 3He, Transport Theory and Localization, Random Statistical Systems, and Prebiotic Evolution.

In 2009, I received an honorary degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. 
Also in 2009, I received the Prange Award from the University of Maryland.

Publications List: 
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Do we Need (or Want) a Bosonic Glue to Pair Electrons in High Tc Superconductors
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Two New Vortex Fluids
    submitted to Nature Phys
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Dynamics of the Vortex Fluid in Cuprate Superconductors: The Nernst Effect
  • B Edegger, Claudius Gros, V Muthukumar, Philip W. Anderson
    Electronic Structure of Gutzwiller Projected Superconductors
    submitted to PNAS: accepted
  • Philip W. Anderson
    The “Strange Metal” is a Projected Fermi Liquid with Edge Singularities
    submitted to Nature Physics - accepted
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Present Status of the Theory of High Tc Cuprates
    TBP, Journal of Low Temperature Physics
  • Philip W. Anderson, W F Brinkman, David A Huse
    Thermodynamics of an Incommensurate Quantum Crystal
    Science 310, 1164 2005
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Physics of a Superfluid Solid
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Physics of the Pseudogap State: Spin-Charge Locking
    Phys Rev Lett 96, 017001 (2006)
  • Philip W. Anderson
    A Suggested 4x4 Structure is Underdoped Cuprates
  • Philip W. Anderson, N P Ong
    Theory of Asymmetric Tunneling in the Cuprate Superconductors
    J Phys Chem Solids 67, 1-5 (2006)
  • N P Ong, Weida Wu, P M Chaikin, Philip W. Anderson
    Phase Coherence and the Nernst Effect at Magic Angles in Organic Conductors
    Europhys Lett 66, 579 2004
  • Philip W. Anderson, P A Lee, Mohit Randeria, T M Rice, N Trivedi, F C Zhang
    The Physics behind High-Temperature Superconducting Cuprates: the “Plain Vanilla” Theory
    J Phys Cond Matt 16, R755 2004
  • Philip W. Anderson, W F Brinkman
    “New Zero-resistance State” in Heterojunctions: a Dynamical Effect
  • Philip W. Anderson
    In Praise of Unstable Fixed Points: The Way Things Actually Work
    cond-mat/0201431 journal?
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Superconductivity In High Tc Cuprates: The Cause is no Longer a Mystery
    Physica Scripta, 2002
  • Philip W. Anderson
    Physics of the Pseudogap State of High Tc Cuprates, or, RVB Meets Umklapp
  • Philip W A RVB Revisited cond-mat/0104332
    Given in 1999, published in...