Dr. Abdus Salam (1926-1996)

– By NUST Science Society

Dr. Abdus Salam is perhaps one of Pakistan’s most renowned scientific personalities. He has the honor of being the first Pakistani to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He was given this honor in 1979, in recognition of his contributions towards the theory of unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles.

Dr. Abdus Salam was born on 29th January in Jhang. He was a very bright student from an early age, receiving highest ever marks scored in Matriculation from Punjab University. In 1946, he completed his MA in Mathematics from Government College University, Lahore. He completed a BA degree with Double First Class Honors in Mathematics and Physics from St. John’s College of Cambridge University in 1949. Later, Dr. Salam received a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge.

Dr. Abdus Salam receiving his Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on unifying weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles. Source: “The Elegant Universe” by NOVA.

During his years in Cambridge, Dr. Salam was awarded both the Smith’s Prize and the Adam’s Prize for his vast contribution to Science. On his return to Pakistan, Dr. Salam began serving as a Mathematics Professor at Government College, Lahore, rising in his career to become the Head of Mathematics Department at Punjab University.

Dr. Salam was the owner of a dynamic personality, and was given the title of ‘Scientific Father’ by researchers who worked under him. He believed in empowering Pakistan by the peaceful use of nuclear technology, while serving as the Chief Scientific Advisor to the President from 1961 to 1974. He was the founding director of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and also has the establishment of Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) in PAEC to his credit.

Dr. Salam died on 21st of November 1996 in Oxford, England, after battling with chronic illness.

Sketch by Syed Ayaz, NUST Science Society

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