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Summary Article: Salam, Abdus
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Pakistani physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 for his theory linking the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. He was the first person from his country to receive a Nobel prize.

Salam shared the Nobel Prize with US physicists Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for unifying the theories of electromagnetism and the weak force, the force responsible for a neutron transforming into a proton, an electron, and a neutrino during radioactive decay. Building on Glashow's work, Salam and Weinberg separately arrived at the same theory in 1967.

Salam was born in Jhang near Faisalabad, in what was then part of British India. He attended Government College in Lahore before going to Cambridge University in England. From 1957 he was professor at Imperial College, London, and he was chief scientific adviser to the president of Pakistan 1961–74. Salam was also instrumental in setting up the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, to stimulate science and technology in developing countries. The theory actually involves two new particles (the W0 and B0), which combine in different ways to form either the photon or the Z0. This was verified experimentally at CERN, the European particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, in 1973, though the W and Z particles were not detected until 1983. Weinberg and Salam also predicted that the electroweak interaction should violate left–right symmetry and this was confirmed by experiments at Stanford University in California.


Salam, Abdus

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