Take it from Dr. Klaus von Klitzing: an unexpected epiphany at 2 a.m. can lead to winning a Nobel Prize.

Von Klitzing addressed around 150 members of the U-M community Wednesday in the Rackham Amphitheatre as this year’s speaker for the LSA Physics Department’s prestigious Ta-You Wu lecture, an annual event that brings Nobel laureates and other prominent leaders in the field on campus. Over 100 additional viewers live-streamed the lecture remotely.

Von Klitzing received the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the quantum Hall effect in February 1980. He said his discovery came late at night when he normally worked.

“A lot of scientists work at night because there’s less noise,” von Klitzing said. “So this is a true story I can tell you.”

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Feel free to view the Ta-You Wu Lecture on YouTube.