Nicholas Read, the newly appointed Henry Ford II Professor of Physics, is a theoretical physicist who studies quantum many-particle systems. His field is part of condensed matter physics, the study of large assemblies of matter, especially in solid or liquid form.

Read has primary appointments in the Departments of Physics and Applied Physics and a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics. He is best known for his work in the quantum Hall effect, a phenomenon that occurs in a two-dimensional system of electrons that is fabricated in a semiconductor device (akin to those in computer chips), placed in a strong magnetic field, and cooled to close to absolute zero of temperature. Read has theoretically predicted several new liquid states of matter in this system. One of these — predicted with colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University — was observed experimentally. As a result of this work, Read and two others were awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Physics Prize of the American Physical Society in 2002.

Read received his bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Cambridge University, and his doctoral degree from Imperial College, London, in 1986. He was a postdoctoral researcher in the physics departments at Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at Yale as an assistant professor in 1988.

In addition to the Buckley Prize, Read is a past recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator Award, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society. His research is supported by the NSF. A frequent speaker at national and international conferences. he is also a moderator for some sections of the arXiv, an online repository for research papers in physics.