Robert Betts Laughlin
|Born||November 1, 1950|
Visalia, California, United States
University of California, Berkeley
|Known for||Quantum Hall effect|
|Awards||E. O. Lawrence Award (1984)|
Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize (1986)
Nobel Prize in physics (1998)
The Franklin Medal (1998)
|Doctoral advisor||John D. Joannopoulos|
Robert Betts Laughlin (born November 1, 1950) is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University. Along with Horst L. Störmer of Columbia University and Daniel C. Tsui of Princeton University, he was awarded a share of the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics for their explanation of the fractional quantum Hall effect.
In 1983, Laughlin was first to provide a many body wave function, now known as the Laughlin wavefunction, for the fractional quantum hall effect, which was able to correctly explain the fractionalized charge observed in experiments. This state has since been interpreted as the integer quantum Hall effect of the composite fermion.
His 2017 paper, "Pumped thermal grid storage with heat exchange" inspired Project Malta at Google X and subsequently Malta inc.
Laughlin was born in Visalia, California. He earned a B.A. in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, and his Ph.D. in physics in 1979 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Between 2004 and 2006  he served as the president of KAIST in Daejeon, South Korea.
Laughlin published a book entitled A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down in 2005. The book argues for emergence as a replacement for reductionism, in addition to general commentary on hot-topic issues.