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Dr. Abdus Salam

explanatory Essay
938 words
938 words
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Dr. Salam was born in the small village of Jhang, present day Pakistan in 1926 where he attended the first few years of school. His father was an official in the Department of Education for the poor farming district. A fast learner Dr. Salam attended the University of the Punjab at the age of 13 and at the age of 14 he received the highest numbers ever recorder for the Matriculation Examination at the university. Due to his outstanding grades he received a full scholarship to the Government College, University of Punjab.

In 1946 he obtained his MA in physics and then that very same year he was awarded with a scholarship to St. John's College, Cambridge where he got a double BA with honors in mathematics and physics in 1949 and then a Ph. D in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge in 1952. At this point in his he had already received the Smith's Prize by the University of Cambridge for the most outstanding pre-doctoral contribution to physics (1950).

Then in 1951 Dr. Salam returned to his roots to teach mathematics at the Government College, Lahore, Pakistan. Since Dr. Salam was a man who was very devoted to his religion and because he belonged to the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, considered heretical by many Muslims, he decided to leave his beloved Pakistan when the stigma of being a part of the Ahmadiyya sect became too much and the realization that he would not be able to continue his research in physics in such conditions. So in 1954 Dr. Salam left Pakistan for a lectureship at Cambridge.

After many years of contributions to the world of physics at many different schools and institutions, including, Cambridge, London University, Imperial College of London, Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, and many others, in 1979 Dr. Salam received a Nobel Prize in physics for the work he had done in the electroweak theory, "which is the mathematical and conceptual synthesis of the electromagnetic and weak interactions-the latest stage reached until now on the path towards the unification of the fundamental forces of nature. Salam, Sheldon Glashow, and Steven Weinberg arrived at the theory independently and shared the prize." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdus_Salam). At this point he finally felt he had gotten the love of his beloved Pakistan and served on many Pakistani comities.

Quantum Electrodynamics or QED is the quantum field theory which describes the properties of the electromagnetic forces. All forces or interactions of nature are thought to be comprised of 4 basic forces, Gravity, Electromagnetism, Strong nuclear force, and the Weak nuclear force.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that dr. salam was born in jhang, present-day pakistan in 1926. his father was an official in the department of education for the poor farming district.
  • Narrates how he received the smith's prize by the university of cambridge for the most outstanding pre-doctoral contribution to physics.
  • Explains that dr. salam returned to his roots in 1951 to teach mathematics at the government college, lahore, pakistan. he left pakistan when the stigma of being a part of the ahmadiyya sect became too much and realized that he would not be able to continue his research in physics.
  • Explains that dr. salam received a nobel prize in physics in 1979 for his work in the electroweak theory, which is the mathematical and conceptual synthesis of electromagnetic and weak interactions.
  • Explains quantum electrodynamics, or qed, which describes the properties of electromagnetic forces. gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear force, and weak nuclear forces govern the sub-atomic world.
  • Explains professor salam's claim to fame was the electroweak theory, which is the closest physics has gotten to the unification of the fundamental forces of nature.
  • Explains how james clerk maxwell's unification of the electric and magnetic forces led to the unified field theory and the electroweak theory.
  • Explains that the electroweak theory introduces particles that act as mediators of weak interactions in the same way that photons mediate electromagnetic interactions.
  • Explains that unlike the photon, the w and z bosons are massive. this causes the beta decay weak interactions to occur at rates much lower than electromagnetic decays.
  • Cites serway & beichner's "physics for scientists and engineers with modren physics" and roland omnes' "quantum philosophy" from princeton university press.
  • Describes the sources of information on quantum physics, including bartleby, factmonster, ictp, and trieste.
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