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Steven Weinberg at Harvard University

Steven Weinberg (born May 3, 1933) is an American physicist. He was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics (with colleagues Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow) for combining electromagnetism and the weak force into the electroweak force.

Weinberg received his Bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1954 and his Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University in 1957. He is currently a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin.

Besides his scientific research, Stephen Weinberg has been a prominent public spokesman for science, testifying before Congress in support of the Superconducting Super Collider, writing articles for the New York Review of Books, and giving various lectures on the larger meaning of science. His books on science written for the public combine the typical scientific popularization with what is traditionally considered history and philosophy of science.

Quotes

"If you have bought one of those T-shirts with Maxwell's equations on the front, you may have to worry about its going out of style, but not about its becoming false. We will go on teaching Maxwellian electrodynamics as long as there are scientists." [1]

"In trying to get votes for the Superconducting Super Collider, I was very much involved in lobbying members of Congress, testifying to them, bothering them, and I never heard any of them talk about postmodernism or social constructivism. You have to be very learned to be that wrong." ("Night Thoughts of a Quantum Physicist", February 1995)

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." (Washington, D.C., April 1999) [2]

"One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment." (ibid.)

Bibliography

  • Gravitation and Cosmology: Principles and Applications of the General Theory of Relativity (1972)
  • The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1977)
  • The Discovery of Subatomic Particles (1983)
  • Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics: The 1986 Dirac Memorial Lectures (1987; with Richard Feynman)
  • Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search For Fundamental Laws of Nature (1993)
  • Quantum Theory of Fields (three volumes: 1995, 1996, 2003)
  • Facing Up: Science and its Cultural Adversaries (2001)
  • Glory and Terror: The Coming Nuclear Danger (2004, NYRB)

Links

Short biography (w/ photo)

His articles in the New York Review of Books

Comments on his electroweak contributions

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