Jerome I. Friedman is an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1990, which he shared with Henry W. Kendall and Richard E. Taylor, for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in practical physics.
He was born on March 28, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. His parents, Lillian and Selig Friedman were Jewish Russian immigrants, who came to the United States in 1913. In World War I, his father served in the United States Army Artillery Corps. After the war, his father worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Company and left them to start his own business of repairing sewing machines.
Friedman and his brother, Paul, were encouraged by their parents to further their education. He was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to the University of Chicago. He became interested in the physical world after reading a book titled “Relativity,” written by Albert Einstein. Friedman was also drawn to the University of Chicago because Enrico Fermi taught there.
He received his Master’s Degree, in 1953 and his Ph.D., in Physics, in 1956. After graduation, he went to Stanford University as a Research Assistant and he became part of the Hofstadter’s group at their High Energy Physics Laboratory.
In 1960, Friedman became a member of the Physics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1963, Henry Kendall and himself started to collaborate with Richard Taylor and other physicists from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center to develop electron scattering facilities for a physics program at the Stanford Linear Accelerator.
In 1980, Friedman became the Director of Nuclear Science at MIT and then served as the Head of the Physics Department, 1983-1984.
Jerome Friedman was married to Tania Letetsky-Baronovsky. They had two daughters and two sons. During the years, he has received many awards and honors.
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Last updated 21 November 2007