Martinus J.G. Veltman
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1999
Born: 27 June 1931, Waalwijk, the Netherlands
Affiliation at the time of the award: , Bilthoven, 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, Martinus Veltman and Gerardus t'Hooft formulated and tested a mathematical theory that further explained the electroweak interaction.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.