H. David Politzer, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
Even before becoming an NSF Fellow in the 1980s, H. David Politzer was already making an internationally known name for himself in his field. As a graduate student in 1973 at Harvard University, Politzer's first paper, "Reliable Perturbative Results for Strong Interactions," was published in the journal Physical Review Letters. This paper would serve as a starting point for the work that would later win him the Nobel Prize.
After graduating from Harvard in 1974, Politzer moved to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). From 1986 to 1988 he served as head of the physics department and is currently a professor of theoretical physics.
In 2004, Politzer won the Nobel Prize in Physics, which was shared with David Gross and Frank Wilczek, "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)." Their research was fundamental in describing the interaction of quarks, which are one of the two basic building blocks of matter.
Politzer, besides being a world renowned physicist, had a small role as Robert Serber in the 1989 movie Fat Man and Little Boy. Politzer, who did not even own a television at the time, was very reluctant to appear in the movie. The director spoke with him for many hours before Politzer relented to taking the part.
Selected works (in chronological order):
- "Reliable Perturbative Results for Strong Interactions?" Physical Review Letters, 1973. 30 (26). pp. 1346-1349.
- "Electrodevelopment scaling in an asymptotically free theory of strong interactions." Physical Review D, 1974. 9 (2). pp. 416-420.
- "Heavy quarks and long-lived hadrons." Physical Review D, 1975. 12 (5). pp. 1404-1414.
- "Precocious scaling, rescaling, and ? scaling." Physical Review Letters, 1976. 36 (22). pp. 1281-1284.
- "Trouble with ? scaling?" Physical Review D, 1977. 15 (9). pp. 2495-2502.
- "Clean tests of quantum chromodynamics in ?p scattering." Physical Review Letters, 1978. 40 (1). pp. 3-6.
- "Experimental Characteristics of Dynamical Pseudo Goldstone Bosons." Physical Review Letters, 1979. 43 (23). pp. 1701-1704.
- "Application of chiral perturbation theory to K?2? decays." Physical Review D, 1985. 32 (9). pp. 2343-2347.
- "Bose-stimulated scattering off a cold atom trap." Physical Review A, 1997. 55 (2). pp. 1140-1146.
- "Nobel Lecture: The dilemma of attribution." Reviews of Modern Physics, 2005. 77 (3). pp. 851-856.