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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Nobel Lecture

Asymptotic Freedom: From Paradox to Paradigm

Frank Wilczek held his Nobel Lecture December 8, 2004, at Aula Magna, Stockholm University. He was presented by Professor Sune Svanberg, Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics.

Summary: The idea that Quarks that are born free are confined and can't be pulled apart was once considered a paradox. The emerging theory for strong interactions, Quantum Chromo Dynamics (QCD) predicts the existence of gluons, which together with quarks can be seen indirectly as jets from hard scattering reactions between particles. Quantum Chromo Dynamics predicts that the forces between quarks are feeble for small separations but are powerful far away, which explains confinement. Many experiments have confirmed this property of the strong interaction.

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Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 2004

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 2004, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 2005

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MLA style: "Frank Wilczek - Nobel Lecture: Asymptotic Freedom: From Paradox to Paradigm". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 26 Mar 2017. <>