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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2004
David J. Gross, H. David Politzer, Frank Wilczek

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Frank Wilczek - Facts

Frank Wilczek

Frank Wilczek

Born: 15 May 1951, New York, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction"

Field: particle physics

Prize share: 1/3

Work

The atomic nucleus is held together by a powerful, strong interaction that binds together the protons and neutrons that comprise the nucleus. The strong interaction also holds together the quarks that make up protons and neutrons. This interaction is so strong that no free quarks have ever been observed. However, in 1973 Frank Wilczek, David Gross, and David Politzer came up with a theory postulating that when quarks come really close to one another, the attraction abates and they behave like free particles. This is called asymptotic freedom.

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