The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979
Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg
Born: 3 May 1933, New York, NY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current"
Field: particle physics
According to modern physics, there are four fundamental forces in nature. Electromagnetic interaction is one of these. The weak interaction, responsible for e.g. the beta-decay of nuclei is another. With theoretical contributions by Steven Weinberg, Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam in 1968, these two interactions were unified to one single, called electroweak. The theory envisaged e.g. so called weak neutral currents in certain interactions of elementary particles, an effect later confirmed in experiments.