Gerardus 't Hooft
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1999
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”
Prize share: 1/2
According to modern physics, four fundamental forces exist in nature. Electromagnetic interaction is one of these. The weak interaction—responsible, for example, for the beta decay of nuclei—is another. In the 1960s, a unified theory was formulated for these two forces: the electroweak interaction. However, certain problems still remained to be solved. In the early 1970s, Gerardus t'Hooft and Martinus Veltman formulated and tested a mathematical theory that further explained the electroweak interaction.