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Sheldon Glashow; enemy of superstring theory


Salam and Ward
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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Salam and Ward together made very many important contributions, and Salam alone made very many important contributions to particle physics. And for either Abdus Salam or Salam and Ward to receive the… the Nobel Prize would be, I thought, a very good idea. But in connection especially with the electroweak theory I didn't think that Abdus without John had played such an enormous role, and I did think that Shelley had played a tremendously important role. And I argued a little bit—that's the only time I've ever done that–I argued a little bit with the authorities, on behalf of Shelley, not of course against Abdus. Although if I had been doing it myself I would have given him a prize for a set of things, including the weak interaction rather than just for that alone, and I might also have coupled him with John because he and John did so many wonderful things together. But... so I didn't make any negative arguments whatsoever, but I did argue positively for including Shelley, and that may have had some effect, I don't know.

New York-born physicist Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019) was known for his creation of the eightfold way, an ordering system for subatomic particles, comparable to the periodic table. His discovery of the omega-minus particle filled a gap in the system, brought the theory wide acceptance and led to Gell-Mann's winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1969.

Listeners: Geoffrey West

Geoffrey West is a Staff Member, Fellow, and Program Manager for High Energy Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is also a member of The Santa Fe Institute. He is a native of England and was educated at Cambridge University (B.A. 1961). He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1966 followed by post-doctoral appointments at Cornell and Harvard Universities. He returned to Stanford as a faculty member in 1970. He left to build and lead the Theoretical High Energy Physics Group at Los Alamos. He has numerous scientific publications including the editing of three books. His primary interest has been in fundamental questions in Physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles and their interactions. His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena grew out of his work on scaling in quantum chromodynamics and the unification of all forces of nature. In 1996 this evolved into the highly productive collaboration with James Brown and Brian Enquist on the origin of allometric scaling laws in biology and the development of realistic quantitative models that analyse the influence of size on the structural and functional design of organisms.

Tags: Abdus Salam, John Clive Ward, Shelley Glashow

Duration: 1 minute, 19 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 29 September 2010