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Climbing the MountainThe Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger$
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Jagdish Mehra and Kimball Milton

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198527459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198527459.001.0001

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Electroweak unification and foreshadowing of the standard model

Electroweak unification and foreshadowing of the standard model

(p.411) 12 Electroweak unification and foreshadowing of the standard model
Climbing the Mountain



Oxford University Press

Much has been written about the development of the standard model of particle physics, in particular about the convoluted process which led to the theory of electroweak interactions for which, ultimately, Sheldon Glashow, Steven Weinberg, and Abdus Salam received the Nobel Prize in 1979. A particularly important chapter in this story is the discovery of the VA structure of the weak interactions. Controversy still exists concerning priority of this discovery. But undoubtedly, the important role of Julian Schwinger in this history has not yet been fully described. In particular, it is clear that Schwinger was the grandfather of the electroweak synthesis. In fact, Schwinger recalled, much later, that in the early l940s he had anticipated the notion of the intermediate weak boson, and the unification with electromagnetism, but it was not much appreciated. This chapter looks at the brief history of weak interactions, the dynamical theory of K mesons, theory of fundamental interactions, Glashow's thesis, non-Abelian gauge theory, and the standard model and its successes.

Keywords:   Sheldon Glashow, Steven Weinberg, Abdus Salam, electroweak interactions, standard model, mesons, non-Abelian gauge theory

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