Born: 12 February 1918, New York, NY, USA
Died: 16 July 1994, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles"
Field: quantum electrodynamics, quantum mechanics
Prize share: 1/3
Following the establishment of the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, an initial relativistic theory was formulated for the interaction between charged particles and electromagnetic fields. However, partly because the electron's magnetic moment proved to be somewhat larger than expected, the theory had to be reformulated. Julian Schwinger solved this problem in 1948 through "renormalization" and thereby contributed to a new quantum electrodynamics.