Gerardus 't Hooft
Born: 5 July 1946, Den Helder, the Netherlands
Affiliation at the time of the award: Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Prize motivation: "for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics"
Field: particle physics
Prize share: 1/2
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. In the 1960s a unified theory for these two forces, the electroweak interaction, was formulated. However certain problems remained and had to be solved. Gerardus t'Hooft and Martinus Veltman formulated in the beginning of the 1970s, a mathematical theory that advanced the description of the electroweak interaction.