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Hugh David Politzer

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Nationality  United States
Fields  Physics
Doctoral advisor  Sidney Coleman
Name  Hugh Politzer
Notable students  Stephen Wolfram
Role  Physicist

Hugh David Politzer readertecboxcompolitzer42jpg
Born  August 31, 1949 (age 66) New York City, New York, U.S. (1949-08-31)
Institutions  California Institute of Technology
Alma mater  University of Michigan Harvard University
Known for  Quantum chromodynamics, asymptotic freedom
Notable awards  Nobel Prize in Physics (2004)
Awards  Nobel Prize in Physics, Guggenheim Fellowship for Natural Sciences, US & Canada
Education  Harvard University (1974), University of Michigan (1969), The Bronx High School of Science (1966)
Similar People  David Gross, Frank Wilczek, Sidney Coleman, Stephen Wolfram, Geoffrey C Fox

Doctoral students  Stephen Wolfram

Hugh David Politzer | Wikipedia audio article

Hugh David Politzer (; born August 31, 1949) is an American theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David Gross and Frank Wilczek for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in quantum chromodynamics.


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Life and career

Politzer was born in New York City. His parents, Alan and Valerie Politzer, immigrated to the U.S. after World War II and were both doctors. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1966, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1969, and his PhD in 1974 from Harvard University, where his graduate advisor was Sidney Coleman.

In his first published article, which appeared in 1973, Politzer described the phenomenon of asymptotic freedom: the closer quarks are to each other, the weaker the strong interaction will be between them. When quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost like free particles. This result—independently discovered at around the same time by Gross and Wilczek at Princeton University—was extremely important in the development of quantum chromodynamics. With Thomas Appelquist, Politzer also played a central role in predicting the existence of "charmonium", a subatomic particle formed of a charm quark and a charm antiquark.

Politzer was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1974 to 1977 before moving to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he is currently professor of theoretical physics. In 1989, he appeared in a minor role in the movie Fat Man and Little Boy, as Manhattan Project physicist Robert Serber.


Politzer was also the lead vocalist in the 1980s for "Professor Politzer and the Rho Mesons", which put out their single, "The Simple Harmonic Oscillator".


Hugh David Politzer Wikipedia

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