Sheldon Glashow

Sheldon Glashow Biography.com

Academic, Physicist, Scientist(1932–)
Sheldon Glashow is an American theoretical physicist who received the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on the electroweak theory, which explains the unity of electromagnetism and the weak force.

Synopsis

Born in New York City in 1932, theoretical physicist Sheldon Glashow attended the Bronx High School of Science. He earned his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1954. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1959. Along with Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam, Glashow received the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics for his efforts in forming the electroweak theory, which explains the unity of electromagnetism and the weak force. He went on to serve as a professor at Boston University.

Early Life and Education

Born on December 5, 1932, in New York City, Sheldon Lee Glashow is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Glashow began pursuing his interest in science during his youth. According to the Nobel Prize website, he credits his older brother, Samuel, with getting him started. "He interested me in the laws of falling bodies when I was 10, and helped my father equip a basement chemistry lab for me when I was 15," Glashow said.

Glashow attended the Bronx High School of Science, where he met and befriended Steven Weinberg, with whom he would later share one of science's top honors. After graduating from high school in 1950, Glashow enrolled at Cornell University, and Weinberg followed suit. Continuing his studies after earning his bachelor's degree from Cornell in 1954, Glashow worked on his doctorate at Harvard University, completing his Ph.D. in 1959. He did a post-doctorate fellowship at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen.

Nobel Prize Winner

Sheldon Glashow became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1961, and headed back east in 1967 to join Harvard's faculty. In addition to teaching, he developed theories regarding quarks, or elementary particles, and is credited with advancing our understanding of these particles with the proposal of a new quark called a charm.

Glashow received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979 for his "contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current," according to the Nobel Prize site. He shared this honor with two other scientists, former classmate Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam. Through their work, the three men had postulated that the two forces of nature—the weak force and the electromagnetic force—could be brought together to form the electroweak force. Glashow also took this idea and applied it to a broader range of elementary particles, including quarks.

In Recent Years

Shortly after receiving the Nobel Prize, Glashow became a professor at Boston University. According to his web page at the university, he is conducting research in several areas, including the Big Bang Theory, electroweak symmetry breaking, dark matter and cosmology. 

Glashow has been married to his wife, Joan, since 1972; the couple has four children together.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!