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Steven Weinberg

Steven WeinbergBorn: 3-May-1933
Birthplace: New York City

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Electroweak Theory

In 1967, American physicist Steven Weinberg proposed a unification theory that weak and electromagnetic interactions, long thought to be two distinct forces, are instead two characterizations of the same fundamental force. He said later that the idea occurred to him out of the blue as he was driving to work at MIT. Now known as the electroweak theory, his eureka moment and the work that followed, explaining and confirming it, won Weinberg the Nobel Prize in 1979. The honor was shared with Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam, who conducted independent but related research leading to the same conclusion. In a rather remarkable coincidence, Glashow and Weinberg had been high school classmates decades earlier at the Bronx High School of Science.

Electroweak theory is a cornerstone of the present-day standard model of elementary-particle physics, providing a comprehensive illustration of the basic units of matter and their behavior, and fits nearly perfectly with virtually all the pertinent data collected by experimental physics. Weinberg has also contributed respected research in cosmology, gravity theory, high energy behavior of quantum field theory, infrared photons, particle physics, pion scattering, quantum field theory, supersymmetry, symmetry breaking, and technicolor theory (which has nothing to do with movies).

Father: Frederick Weinberg
Mother: Eva Weinberg
Wife: Louise (law professor at the University of Texas, m. 1954, one daughter)
Daughter: Elizabeth (b. 1963)

    High School: Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY (1950)
    University: BS Physics, Cornell University (1954)
    Scholar: Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen (1954-55)
    University: PhD Physics, Princeton University (1957)
    Scholar: Physics, Columbia University (1957-59)
    Scholar: Physics, University of California at Berkeley (1959-60)
    Lecturer: Physics, University of California at Berkeley (1960-66)
    Lecturer: Physics, Harvard University (1966-67)
    Professor: Visiting Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1967-68)
    Professor: Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1969-73)
    Professor: Higgins Professor of Physics, Harvard University (1973-82)
    Professor: Josey Professor of Science, University of Texas at Austin (1982-)

    J. Robert Oppenheimer Prize 1973
    Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics 1977
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1979 (with Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam)
    Elliott Cresson Gold Medal of the Franklin Institute 1979
    National Medal of Science 1991
    Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science 1999
    Humanist of the Year 2002
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1968
    American Philosophical Society
    Biden for President
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Committee for Skeptical Inquiry Fellow
    National Academy of Sciences 1972
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Directors
    International Astronomical Union
    Kay Bailey Hutchison for Senate
    National Academy of Sciences 1972
    Philosophical Society of Texas
    Royal Society Foreign Member

Author of books:
Gravitation and Cosmology (1971, physics)
The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977, popular science)
The Discovery of Subatomic Particles (1983, physics)
Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics (1987, physics; with Richard Feynman)
The Theory of Subatomic Particles, Gravitation and Cosmology (1990, physics)
Dreams of a Final Theory (1993, popular science)
The Quantum Theory of Fields (1995-97, textbook; two volumes)
Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Adversaries (2001, popular science)
Glory and Terror: The Coming Nuclear Danger (2004, physics)
Cosmology (2008, physics)
Lake Views: This World and the Universe (2010, popular science)

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