Remembering Steven Weinberg
People say that communicating science is a challenge for many scientists, even for Nobel Laureates. But it was not the case with Steven Weinberg, a Nobel Laureate and a theoretical physicist. As a sought-after speaker and writer, Steven Weinberg excelled in explaining complex scientific concepts to the public. It was a rare combo for a Nobelist who made one of the groundbreaking physics discoveries of the 20th century.
Dr Weingerg wrote several popular science books, including the best seller: “The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe”. First published in 1977, this book is still competing in book/ebook stores with a 4.09 rating on Goodreads. People consider this book as a golden standard in science writing. His other notable reads include Cosmology, Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist’s Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature, and To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science.
What’s so groundbreaking?
Remember the four fundamental forces in the universe we studied in high school? They are Gravitational Force, Electromagnetic Force, Strong Nuclear Force, and the Weak Nuclear force. In the early 20th century, there were no unified theories that account for all the fundamental forces. Most importantly, no theories were explaining the interactions of weak forces back then.
Through his discovery, Dr Weinberg proposed the Unified Theory of Weak and Electromagnetic Interactions. He published his findings in 1967 in the journal Physical Review Letters. For this discovery, Dr Weinberd was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979 along with Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam. It is interesting to note that Abdus Salam independently comes up with the same conclusions as Dr Weinberg. Later their theory became known as Weinberg-Salam Theory. This is the theory that forms the basis for today’s Standard Model in theoretical physics.
Written by Raghul M R