Hugh David Politzer (//; born August 31, 1949) is an American theoretical physicist and the Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David Gross and Frank Wilczek for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in quantum chromodynamics.
Hugh David Politzer
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Known for||Quantum chromodynamics, asymptotic freedom|
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Physics (2004)|
|Institutions||California Institute of Technology|
|Doctoral advisor||Sidney Coleman|
|Doctoral students||Stephen Wolfram|
Life and careerEdit
Politzer was born in New York City. His parents, Alan and Valerie Politzer, both from Czechoslovakia, immigrated to the U.S. after World War II and were both doctors. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1966, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1969, and his PhD in 1974 from Harvard University, where his graduate advisor was Sidney Coleman.
In his first published article, which appeared in 1973, Politzer described the phenomenon of asymptotic freedom: the closer quarks are to each other, the weaker the strong interaction will be between them. When quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost like free particles. This result—independently discovered at around the same time by Gross and Wilczek at Princeton University—was extremely important in the development of quantum chromodynamics. With Thomas Appelquist, Politzer also played a central role in predicting the existence of "charmonium", a subatomic particle formed of a charm quark and a charm antiquark.
Politzer was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1974 to 1977 before moving to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he is currently professor of theoretical physics. In 1989, he appeared in a minor role in the movie Fat Man and Little Boy, as Manhattan Project physicist Robert Serber. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2004 was awarded jointly to David J. Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction."
Politzer is one of the 20 American recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics to sign a letter addressed to President George W. Bush in May of 2008, urging him to "reverse the damage done to basic science research in the Fiscal Year 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill" by requesting additional emergency funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- Politzer, H.D. (1974). "Asymptotic Freedom: An Approach to Strong Interactions". Physics Reports. 14 (4): 129–180. Bibcode:1974PhR....14..129D. doi:10.1016/0370-1573(74)90014-3.
- "Hugh D. (David) Politzer | Caltech Directory". directory.caltech.edu. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
- "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2004". Nobel Web. 2004. Retrieved October 24, 2010.
- H.D. Politzer (1973). "Reliable perturbative results for strong interactions?". Physical Review Letters. 30 (26): 1346–1349. Bibcode:1973PhRvL..30.1346P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.30.1346.
- "David Politzer Wins Nobel Prize in Physics | Caltech". The California Institute of Technology. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- "A Letter from America's Physics Nobel Laureates" (PDF).
- "Hugh David Politzer". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
- "The Simple Harmonic Oscillator". caltech.edu.
- "David Politzer". caltech.edu.
- "Fat Man and Little Boy". imdb.