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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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The Nobel Prize and the last years at Harvard

The Nobel Prize and the last years at Harvard

(p.445) 13 The Nobel Prize and the last years at Harvard
Climbing the Mountain



Oxford University Press

As soon as Julian Schwinger burst upon the stage, one could hardly doubt that a Nobel Prize was in the offing. Certainly, after his solution of the problems of quantum electrodynamics in the late 1940s the award of the Nobel Prize was just a matter of time. Yet years passed with no news of the award. Clarice Schwinger, his devoted wife, described waiting for the Prize and thought he would get it soon after they got married. When it did not happen, she then decided Julian simply was not going to get it. This chapter looks at Schwinger's winning the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 and the attention he received afterwards, his Nobel lecture entitled ‘Relativistic quantum field theory’ delivered in December 1965, his development of the source theory as an alternative to the operator quantum field theory, source theory calculation of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron, Schwinger's research on chiral symmetry, his influence on Steven Weinberg with regards to effective Lagrangians, and his last years as a professor at Harvard University.

Keywords:   Nobel Prize, quantum electrodynamics, source theory, operator quantum field theory, Steven Weinberg, effective Lagrangians, Harvard University, magnetic moment, chiral symmetry

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