Theoretical Particle Physics in Berkeley has a long history of achievements. Important work has been done by faculty members. Many leaders in the field were trained here as graduate students or postdocs. Here we list some of them. (The list is by no means comprehensive.)
J. Robert Oppenheimer
- He recognized the electron self-energy problem in 1929, and pointed out that Dirac equation predicts anti-matter in 1931. Together with Serber, he showed that there is an upper mass limit for stability of neutron stars in 1938, and that a collapsing neutron star will form a black hole together with Snyder in 1939. He is also known for Born-Oppenheimer approximation in molecular physics and his leadership in Manhattan project. He was on the Berkeley faculty. He led a strong school in Theoretical Physics in 30's and 40's, which trained students and NRC fellows including Fritz Kalckar, George Volkoff, Sid Dancoff, Phil Morrison, Joe Keller, Willis Lamb, Bernard Peters, Bill Rarita. His biographical account by Hans Bethe can be found here.
- 1967 Heineman Prize Winner. He contributed to the foundation of quantum field theory, such as the Wick's theorem, Wick rotation, and Jacob-Wick helicity basis. He was on the Berkeley faculty.
- 1979 Nobel Laureate for his contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current. He was on the Berkeley faculty. He wrote his Nobel-paper "Theory of Leptons" in 1967, in which he proposed the SU(2) x U(1) gauge theory of electroweak interaction with Higgs mechanism. It laid the foundation of the Standard Model of particle physics, established ca. 1978. Currently professor at University of Texas. Also 1977 Heineman Prize Winner.
- 1979 Nobel Laureate for his contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current. He was on the Berkeley faculty. He proposed the SU(2) x U(1) gauge group as the theory of electroweak interaction. It laid the foundation of the Standard Model of particle physics, established ca. 1978. Currently professor at Boston University.
- 2004 Nobel Laureate for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction, together with David Politzer and Frank Wilczek. He was a Berkeley graduate student. Also 1988 Dirac Medal Winner for the discovery of asymptotic freedom as well as the heterotic string theory with Harvey, Martinec, and Rohm, and 1986 Sakurai Prize Winner together with David Politzer and Frank Wilczek.
- 1987 Dirac Medal Winner who has been one of the leading experts in field theory. Together with Prof. Julius Wess, he has made fundamental contributions to the study of chiral anomalies in gauge theories with fermions. Also in collaboration with Prof. Wess, he proposed the first renormalizable Lagrangian field theories to realize supersymmetry in 4-dimensional space-time. With Prof. Stanley Deser he constructed one of the first supergravity theories in four dimensions. In addition to this important early work, he has been a leader in the application of modern geometrical ideas in field theory. In particular he has illuminated the role of Kähler geometry in extended supergravities and, more generally, the value of differential geometric methods in the study of anomalies. He is an emeritus member of our group. 1988 Heineman Prize Winner and 1999 Gian Carlo Wick Prize Winner.
- 1989 Dirac Medal Winner for their basic contributions to the development of superstring theory. Most significant was their discovery that chiral gauge anomalies are absent for a class of ten dimensional superstring theories. This provided a strong indication that superstring theory with a specific gauge symmetry may provide a consistent unified quantum theory of the fundamental forces including gravity. It led to an explosion of interest in string theory which has already spurred remarkable advances both in mathematical physics and in pure mathematics. Schwarz was a graduate student, and Green was a postdoc in Berkeley. Also 2002 Heineman Prize Winners.
- 1991 Dirac Medal Winner in recognition of his contributions to the development of theoretical physics. His representation of the analytic properties of scattering amplitudes in the form of double dispersion relations (Mandelstam representation) is basic to the modern understanding of relativistic particle scattering and his seminal work on the quantization of string theories, exploiting their conformal properties, led to a more profound understanding of this subject. Mandelstam was among the first to apply path integral quantization methods to string theory. This work was generalized and extended by many others in the following years and now forms an integral part of the modern formulations. He is an emeritus member of our group. Also 1992 Heineman Prize Winner.
- 1993 Sakurai Prize Winner. She successfully predicted the charm quark mass together with Ben Lee before the discovery of J/ψ in 1974. She is an emeritus member of our group.
- 2008 Dirac Medal Winner in recognition of his contributions to superstring theory. He was a graduate student in Berkeley. Also 2007 Heineman Prize Winner.
- 2003 Tommasoni Prize Winner for opening important new directions in particle theory in collaboration with Raman Sundrum. She was a postdoc in Berkeley.
- 2003 Gribov Medal Prize Winner for his original approaches to hierarchy problems in the theories of fundamental interactions. In particular for exploring the possibility of large extra dimensions where only gravity can propagate. He was a graduate student in Berkeley.
- 2002 Nishinomiya Yukawa Commemoration Prize Winner. He is an active member of our group. He co-discovered the mechanism of gaugino mass generation due to the super-conformal anomaly together with Gian Giudice, Markus Luty, and Riccardo Rattazzi.
Other examples include:
Former Berkeley postdocs who became leaders in the field
Miguel Virasoro (ICTP, Trieste), Martin Einhorn (Santa Barbara), Barton Zwiebach (MIT), Fabio Zwirner (Padua), Lawrence Hall (Berkeley), Raman Sundrum (Maryland), John March-Russell (Oxford), John Terning (Davis), Riccardo Rattazzi (Lausanne), Markus Luty (Davis), Yaron Oz (Tel-Aviv), Jan de Boer (Amsterdam), Kentaro Hori (IPMU, Tokyo), Csaba Csáki (Cornell), Jonathan Feng (UC Irvine), Yasunori Nomura (Berkeley).
Michio Kaku (CUNY), Chris Quigg (Fermilab), Bob Cahn (LBNL), Dan Friedan (Rutgers), Steve Sharpe (Washington), Nathan Berkovits (San Paolo), Washington Taylor (MIT), Neal Weiner (NYU).