Salam, Abdus, 1926–96, Pakistani physicist. After attending Government College at Lahore, he received a Ph.D. from Cambridge (1952). He taught in Lahore for three years before returning to England, first teaching mathematics at Cambridge (1954–57), then moving to Imperial College in London, where he became a professor of theoretical physics. In the early 1960s he developed a theory to explain some behavior of the weak interactions of elementary particles. For this work, in 1979 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven Weinberg and Sheldon Glashow. Salam also played an important role in the development of nuclear energy and the atomic bomb in Pakistan, but after 1974 he lived in exile in protest against a 1974 Pakistani law that defined Ahmadis (the religious group of which he was a member) as non-Muslims (see Ahmadiyya). To support Third World scientists and scientific research, Salam founded what is now the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in 1964 and the Third World Academy of Sciences in 1983 (both in Trieste, Italy). He headed the International Center until his death.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Physics: Biographies