Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
H. David Politzer
Hugh David Politzer (born 31 August 1949) is an American theoretical physicist. He shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David J. Gross and Frank Wilczek for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in quantum chromodynamics.
Politzer was born in New York City. 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 Ph.D. 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, given by the color charge, 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 David Gross and Frank Wilczek at Princeton University -- was extremely important in the development of quantum chromodynamics, the theory of the strong nuclear interactions.
After graduating from Harvard, Politzer moved to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he is currently professor of theoretical physics. In 1989 he appeared in a minor role as Manhattan Project physicist Robert Serber in the movie Fat Man and Little Boy, which starred Paul Newman as General Leslie Groves.
Politzer is the sixth Nobel Prize laureate who is a graduate of the prestigious Bronx High School of Science in New York City.
- Nobel Citation
- List of papers, from SPIRES
- Webpage at Caltech
- Entry in IMDB
- Caltech press release on Politzer winning the Nobel Prize
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