Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission

Ever since, Pakistan gained independence in 1947, it has suffered wioie_2872139cWpjHHRmth a sense of insecurity as it is bordered on one side by its arch-enemy India, and this feeling of insecurity led the decision-makers to strive towards a balance of power with India. Many of the country’s brightest and sharpest minds had put years of tireless effort into this endeavour. The work led to first the establishment of the Pakistan council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) in 1951.

Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech at the UN

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QUIZ WHIZZ #2: The Nobel-Winning Work of Dr. Salam

– By Hashim Khan

In 1979, Dr. Abdus Salam became the one and only Pakistani Nobel Laureate.

Yesterday, in QUIZ WHIZZ, we asked you:

We all know our only Nobel Laureate Dr. Salam and we are all proud of him. But how many of us know which work of his brought him this honor?

a. Pati-Salam Model

b. Grand Unified Theory

c. Super Symmetry

d. Electroweak Theory

Salam’s major and notable achievements include the Pati–Salam model, magnetic photon, vector meson, Grand Unified Theory, work on super symmetry and, most importantly, electroweak theory, for which he was awarded the most prestigious award in Physics, The Nobel Prize.

In particle physics, the electroweak interaction is the unified description of two of the four known fundamental interactions of nature: electromagnetism and the weak interaction. Although these two forces appear very different at everyday low energies, the theory models them as two different aspects of the same force. Above the unification energy, on the order of 100 GeV, they would merge into a single electroweak force.

Thus if the universe is hot enough (approximately 1015 K, a temperature exceeded until shortly after the Big Bang) then the electromagnetic force and weak force will merge into a combined electroweak force.

For contributions to the unification of the weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, Abdus Salam, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979.

Congratulations to those of you who opted for the correct answer. Stay tuned for the next episode of QUIZ WHIZZ, on Monday 7:00 pm.

– The writer is an Executive member of NUST Science Society and a sophomore at School of Chemical and Materials Engineering.

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