Misha Katsnelson (Head of Department)
Expertise: Quantum physics; statistical physics; materials science, especially magnetism and twodimensional materials
Misha Katsnelson (Magnitogorsk, 1957) was educated in the Soviet Union, where he was given very broad training in physics. He was a pupil of the renowned physicist Sergey Vonsovsky, the leading Russian theoretician in the field of magnetism. Today Katsnelson is one of the most cited and best-known theoreticians in solid state physics worldwide. He is the leading theoretician on graphene and has co-authored the most important publications on this two-dimensional form of carbon, for which the discoverers, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, received the Nobel Prize in 2010. In his Nobel Lecture, Andre Geim said, ‘Our rapid progress would be impossible without Misha Katsnelson, who provided us with all the theoretical help an experimentalist can only dream of.'
In 2010, Radboud University Nijmegen awarded him the Radboud Science Award. Together with a team of young scientists he used this to process his research into teaching materials for primary school pupils. In 2012, he published the first monograph on the material: Graphene: Carbon in two dimensions. In 2013 he was awarded the Spinoza Prize. Katsnelson wants to use the Spinoza Prize for an ‘adventurous, but responsible' research agenda. ‘I want to tackle a number of fundamental problems in physics. Funding for this type of research is usually impossible to find, but the Spinoza Prize gives you the freedom to do this'.
Misha Katsnelson graduated summa cum laude in physics at the Ural State University in Yekaterinburg in 1977. Within three years of graduating he gained his doctorate from the Institute of Metal Physics in Yekaterinburg. In 1986, Katsnelson became the youngest Doctor of sciences amongst physicists in the Soviet Union. In 1988 he received the 'Lenin Komsomol Prize', the highest award for young researchers in the Soviet Union. In 1992 he became professor at the Ural State University. Between 2002 and 2004, he worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. Since 2004, he has been Professor of Theoretical Physics at Radboud University Nijmegen.
Katsnelson has authored several monographs. He is lead or co-author of more than 500 scientific papers.
Prof. M.I. Katsnelson is knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion and Honorary Doctor of Uppsala University. He is elected member of Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Europaea and Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala.