Horst Stormer is the Isidor Isaac Rabi Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Columbia University in New York City and an expert in condensed-matter physics. Educated at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, and moving to Grenoble, France, for his doctoral thesis, Stormer, in 1977, joined Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, New Jersey. He invented modulations-doping, a technique that speeds up electrons in semiconductors. This has led to the invention of very high-frequency transistors for cell phones as well as to the discovery of bizarre quantum phenomena at very low temperatures and in high magnetic fields. The electrons in such environments seem to be falling apart into multiple pieces. For this discovery — termed the fractional quantum Hall effect — he shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics with Daniel Tsui and Robert Laughlin.
Stormer headed the department for Electronic and Optical Properties of Solids and later directed the Physical Research Laboratory before leaving Bell in 1998 to teach at Columbia.