Nobel Peace Prize in Physics

The world of physics which surrounds us, is full of equations waiting to be captured. Physicists and Chemists are the people who search and work to create and implement those equations. In past years the physics prize has been awarded for work done temperatures of near-absolute zero and for discovering that a helium isotope behaves in unusual ways at extremely low temperatures. In 1999, two Dutch scientists won the Nobel Prize for physics in their work on the electroweak interaction.

The electroweak force is the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force unified into a single fundamental force. During the early 1960’s, physicists suspected that two forces of nature and subatomic particles, electromagnetiism that creates static cling and the weak force that causes atomic nuceli of atoms to fall apart in radioactive decay, were just different manifestations of a single force, later to become known as the electroweak force. The electroweak force theory was thought of by Physicists Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg who won the physics prize for their work in 1979. Physicists Gerardus ‘t Hooft and Martinus Veltman took the electroweak force theory and proved it made sense. The problem with the theory in its initial conception, was the many flaws it contained says Physicists Sheldon Glashow, a physics professor at Harvard University. “I came up with this cockamamie theory in the early 1960’s,” “It had lots of serious mathematical problems.” A lot of the answers to the equations that were supposed to finite, fractional values between 0 and 1 were instead coming out infinite. In the early 1970’s t’Hooft and Veltman accomplished producing for the first time finite, sensible predictions for electroweak interactions, which have been verified by experiment.

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