Schwartz, Melvin

Schwartz, Melvin,

1932–2006 American physicist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Columbia, 1958. He was on the faculty at Columbia (1958–66, 1991–2000, emeritus 2000–2006) and Stanford (1966–83). Schwartz established and ran his own software development business, Digital Pathways, between 1970 and 1991, when he rejoined Brookhaven National Laboratory as a researcher (1991–97). He had conducted research at Brookhaven from 1955 to 1963 and worked as research scientist there (1956–58). Schwartz was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics with Leon LedermanLederman, Leon Max
, 1922–, American physicist, Ph.D. Columbia, 1951. He was a professor at Columbia until he became director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. (1979–89).
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 and Jack SteinbergerSteinberger, Jack,
1921–, American physicist, b. Kissingen, Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Chicago, 1948. He was a professor at Columbia from 1950 until 1971. In the early 1960s, Steinberger and co-researchers, Leon Lederman and Melvin Schwartz, developed the neutrino beam method
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 for their development of the neutrino beam method in the 1960s and their use of the method to make discoveries about elementary particle physics. The researchers used the high-energy neutrinos to study the weak interactionweak 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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, or force—one of the four fundamental forces of nature and the most difficult to observe—and in doing so confirmed the existence of two types of neutrinosneutrino
[Ital.,=little neutral (particle)], elementary particle with no electric charge and a very small mass emitted during the decay of certain other particles. The neutrino was first postulated in 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli in order to maintain the law of conservation of energy
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, the electron neutrino and the previously unknown muon neutrino. This led to the development of a new scheme for classifying families of subatomic particles.

Schwartz, Melvin

(1932–  ) physicist; born in New York City. After completing all his university work at Columbia, including his Ph.D. (1958), he worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory (1956–58), taught at Columbia (1958–66), then moved to Stanford as a physics professor (1966–83). Meanwhile, in 1970 he had founded a company, Digital Pathways, Inc., to produce systems that secure computers from outside tamperers, and in 1983 he left academic work to devote himself to this company. Schwartz shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in physics with Leon Lederman and Jack Steinberger for work they had collaborated on while at Columbia (1960–63)—specifically, for an experiment that used an accelerator-created beam of neutrinos to examine the effect of weak nuclear forces at high energies; this in turn led to their discovery that there are two types of neutrinos. In 1991 Schwartz returned to the Brookhaven National Laboratory to take up his work with high energy and nuclear physics.