Saturday, July 24, 2021

Steven Weinberg 1933-2021

Word is that the amazing physicist Steven Weinberg passed away yesterday at the age of 88. 

Peter Woit has more.

Weinberg was a giant in the field of theoretical physics, making fundamental contributions in unifying the weak and electromagnetic interactions. He also wrote a few textbooks, one, on general relativity and cosmology, which I once learned a lot from, and still look in occasionally to verify something. (It's rather dated now.) During graduate school I went into Manhattan with a couple of friends to see him speak, probably it was at Columbia University, but I don't remember what he talked about now. We just wanted to see Weinberg. 

Notably, Weinberg left Harvard in 1982 to go to the University of Texas at Austin. He must have gotten a very good deal, because it wasn't the kind of move you typically saw then, leaving such a prestigious university to go out west to a state school. 

Weinberg is well known for a quote from his very popular book The First Three Minutes about the Big Bang:

“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”


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