The Nobel Foundation
Sheldon Lee Glashow

Florida Atlantic University Libraries

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

A Judaica Collection Exhibit


Sheldon Lee Glashow: Nobel Prize in Physics Recipient-1979
by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Sheldon Lee Glashow is an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1979, which he shared with Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current.

He was born on December 5, 1932 in New York City, New York. He was the youngest of three sons of Bella, nee Rubin, and Lewis Glashow, who was a plumber. His parents encouraged their sons to get a good education. Samuel was the oldest and became a dentist. Jules was in the middle and he was a medical doctor. Sheldon’s father built him a chemistry laboratory in the basement of their house.

Glashow went to the Bronx High School of Science, where he was a friend with Steven Weinberg, with whom he shared the 1979 Pulitzer Prize in Physics. He received a Bachelor of Arts at Cornell University, 1954. He received his Master’s Degree at Harvard, 1955, and also, his Ph.D. in physics, 1959.

He won a postdoctoral fellowship and was scheduled to go to the Lebedev Institute in Moscow. His Russian visa never came and he went to the Niels Bohr Institute, in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1958-1960. It was here that he discovered the SU(2) x U(1) structure of the electroweak theory.

Glashow took a position as an assistant professor at Stanford University, 1961-1962. He then went as an associate professor at the University of California at Berkeley, 1961-1967. He accepted the offer of being a professor at Harvard University, 1966-1982.

He was married in 1972 to Joan Alexander and they had four children. They lived in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Sheldon Lee Glashow received many honors and awards in his career:
● A member of the American Physical Society
● A member of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
● A member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
● A member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences
● A member of the American Academy of Sciences
● Westinghouse Science Talent Search Finalist, 1950
● Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, 1962-1966
● Oppenheimer Memorial Medal, 1977
● George Ledlie Award,1978
● Honorary Doctorate Degree, Yeshiva University
● Honorary Doctorate Degree, University of Aix-Marseille, France, 1982
● Honorary Doctorate Degree, Adelphi University, 1985
● Honorary Doctorate Degree, Bar-lian University, 1988
● Honorary Doctorate Degree, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1989


For additional information, contact
Special Collections and Archives
S.E. Wimberly Library


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Last updated 21 November 2007