Abdus Salam

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Salam, Abdus,

1926–96, Pakistani physicist. After attending Government College at Lahore, he received a Ph.D. from Cambridge (1952). He taught in Lahore for three years before returning to England, first teaching mathematics at Cambridge (1954–57), then moving to Imperial College in London, where he became a professor of theoretical physics. In the early 1960s he developed a theory to explain some behavior of the weak interactionsweak interactions,
actions between elementary particles mediated, or carried, by W and Z particles and that are responsible for nuclear decay. Weak interactions are one of four fundamental interactions in nature, the others being gravitation, electromagnetism, and the strong interactions.
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 of elementary particles. For this work, in 1979 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven WeinbergWeinberg, Steven,
1933–, American nuclear physicist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Princeton, 1957. Since 1982 he has been a professor at the Univ. of Texas at Austin, having previously been on the faculties of Columbia, the Univ.
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 and Sheldon GlashowGlashow, Sheldon Lee
, 1932–, American physicist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Harvard, 1959. He became a professor at the Univ. of California at Berkeley in 1961 before moving to Harvard in 1967.
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. Salam also played an important role in the development of nuclear energy and the atomic bomb in Pakistan, but after 1974 he lived in exile in protest against a 1974 Pakistani law that defined Ahmadis (the religious group of which he was a member) as non-Muslims (see AhmadiyyaAhmadiyya
, a contemporary messianic movement founded (1899) by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908), b. Qadiyan, the Punjab. His Barahin-i Ahmadiyya, which he began to publish in 1880, was well received by his Islamic community.
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). To support Third World scientists and scientific research, Salam founded what is now the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in 1964 and the Third World Academy of Sciences in 1983 (both in Trieste, Italy). He headed the International Center until his death.

Salam, Abdus

 

Born Jan. 29, 1926, in Jhang Maghiana. Pakistani physicist.

Salam graduated from Cambridge University in 1951. He was a professor at Government College in Lahore from 1951 to 1954 and a lecturer at Cambridge from 1954 to 1956; in 1957 he became a professor at the University of London. In 1964 he became director of the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste. He was chief scientific adviser to the president of Pakistan from 1961 to 1974 and was chairman of the UN Advisory Committee on Science and Technology in 1971.

Salam’s main works deal with quantum electrodynamics and the theory of elementary particles. He has contributed to work on problems of renormalization, and he was the first to call attention to the significance of overlap divergences and to point out ways of constructing theories that are amenable to renormalization. He has worked on a uniform theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions, the theory of symmetry, and the quark model of elementary particles. He has been a member of the London Royal Society since 1959 and a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR since 1971.

WORKS

“The Renormalization of Meson Theories.” Reviews of Modern Physics, 1951, vol. 23, no. 4. (With P. T. Matthews.)
“Electromagnetic and Weak Interactions.” Physics Letters, 1964, vol. 13, no. 2. (With J. C. Ward.)
Fundamental Theory of Matter. Trieste, 1968.

I. D. ROZHANSKII

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