NEVILL MOTT – NOBEL LAUREATE IN PHYSICS
Nobel Prize: Sir Nevill Mott (1905-1996) received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physics for his research on the magnetic and electrical properties of noncrystalline semiconductors.
Education: Master’s degree in physics, University of Cambridge, 1930
Occupation: Professor of Physics at the University of Bristol (1933-1954) and the University of Cambridge (1954-1971); President of the International Union of Physics (1951-1957)
1. “I believe in God, who can respond to prayers, to whom we can give trust and without whom life on this earth would be without meaning (a tale told by an idiot). I believe that God has revealed Himself to us in many ways and through many men and women, and that for us here in the West the clearest revelation is through Jesus and those that have followed him.” (Mott, as cited in Nevill Mott: Reminiscences and Appreciations, E.A. Davis – editor, London, Taylor & Francis Ltd, 1998, 329).
2. “The miracles of human history are those in which God has spoken to men. The supreme miracle for Christians is the Resurrection. Something happened to those few men who know Jesus, which led them to believe that Jesus yet lived, with such intensity and conviction that this belief remains the basis of the Christian Church two thousand years later.” (Mott, as cited in Margenau and Varghese, 1997, 68).
3. “God can speak to us and show us how we have to live.
… We can and must ask God which way we ought to go, what we ought to do, how we ought to behave.” (Mott, as cited in Margenau and Varghese, 1997, 66 & 68; and in Templeton 1994).
4. “Science can have a purifying effect on religion, freeing it from beliefs from a pre-scientific age and helping us to a truer conception of God. At the same time, I am far from believing that science will ever give us the answers to all our questions.” (Mott, as cited in Margenau and Varghese, 1997, 65).
5. “In my understanding of God I start with certain firm beliefs. One is that the laws of nature are not broken.
God works, I believe, within natural laws, and, according to natural laws.” (Mott, as cited in Margenau and Varghese, 1997, 66).
6. In 1991 Nevill Mott edited a volume of articles by famous scientists on the significance of religious belief and religion-science interface, entitled Can Scientists Believe? (London, James & James). In his article in this scientific anthology Professor Mott writes that God is absolutely necessary to explain the origin and the essence of human consciousness. Mott claims that the mystery of consciousness can never be explained by science.
“I believe, too, that neither physical science nor psychology can ever ‘explain’ human consciousness.
To me, then, human consciousness lies outside science, and it is here that I seek the relationship between God and man.” (Nevill Mott, Can Scientists Believe?, London, James & James Science Publishers Ltd, 1991, 8).