Abdus Salam

(1926—1996) theoretical physicist

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Pakistani physicist who, with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg, was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics for their unification of the weak and electromagnetic forces. He received an honorary KBE in 1989.

Abdus Salam was educated at the Punjab University and St John's College, Cambridge, where he was awarded his PhD in 1952. He taught at the Punjab University (1951–54) and briefly at Cambridge before moving in 1957 to Imperial College, London, as professor of physics.

Salam was a particle physicist whose most successful work was the unification of the weak and electromagnetic forces. Similar but independent results were published at the same time by Weinberg in the USA. Coming from the developing world, Salam was acutely aware of the intellectual isolation of promising young physicists and mathematicians. To stimulate the growth of science in the developing world, in 1964 Salam set up the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, where many young scientists from the world's poorer nations have met to exchange ideas and learn new techniques. Salam was director of this centre from its inception until 1993, sharing his time between Imperial College and Trieste.

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.