Symmetry Principles and Physical Laws


Symmetry Principles and Physical Laws


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Melvin Schwartz is Professor of Physics at Columbia University and Associate Director for High Energy and Nuclear Physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Born and educated in New York City, Mel Schwartz received his A.B. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University in 1953 and 1958, respectively, and was an associate professor there when he performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory the experiment that would be cited in his Nobel Prize. He left Columbia in 1966 to spend twenty-five years at Stanford University as Professor and then as Consulting Professor. While in California he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Pathways, Inc., a computer software company involved with data communications, security, and network management. In 1991 he returned to the New York area as Professor of Physics at Columbia and Associate Director for High Energy and Nuclear Physics at Brookhaven. In addition to some forty scientific articles in the field of high energy physics, Professor Schwartz has written a highly regarded textbook, Principles of Electrodynamics, most recently published by Dover in 1985. In 1988 Professor Schwartz received the Nobel Prize in Physics. Among other honors, he has held fellowships supported by the National Science, Sloan, and Guggenheim Foundations. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975. Columbia awarded him an honorary D.Sc. in 1991. His work: The current understanding of the basic structure of all matter involves two classes of particles. The heavier particles (hadrons) are made of quarks, which fall into three "generations." The lighter particles also fall into three generations, each of which consists of a relatively massive lepton (electron, muon, or tauon) and its associated and relatively much smaller neutrino. Dr. Schwartz's demonstration that the muontype neutrino was nor the same as the electron-associated neutrino of beta-decay was a critical step in the development of this understanding. He continues to oversee research in the physics of high energy particles, with particular emphasis on weak interactions. *The 1992-93 Abe Gelbart Lecturer (Abstract text taken from DSLS 1992-93 Program.)


physics, eletrodynamics

Creation Date

September 26, 1992

Symmetry Principles and Physical Laws