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Published 2024 | Published
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Marvin L. Goldberger (October 22, 1922–November 26, 2014): A Biographical Memoir

  • 1. ROR icon California Institute of Technology


Marvin L. Goldberger was a leading figure in theoretical particle physics during the second half of the twentieth century. After working on the Manhattan Project during World War II, he studied theoretical physics at Chicago under Enrico Fermi and received his PhD in 1948. In the two decades that followed, he played a major role in developing theories to encompass the new particles and interactions then being discovered at high energy accelerators. His research, especially the development of dispersion relations and the Goldberger-Treiman relation, helped lay the groundwork for the establishment in the 1970s of the Standard Model of particle physics. In addition to his research in theoretical physics, from the late 1950s onward he was deeply involved in providing scientific advice to the U.S. government, both through the creation and initial leadership of the JASON group and through service on the President’s Science Advisory Committee (under Pres. Lyndon Johnson). In addition to his contributions as a research scientist, Goldberger was a leader in academic administration, serving first as chair of the Princeton University physics department, then as president of the California Institute of Technology for a decade, and then as director of the Institute for Advanced Study. In all these roles. he was valued for his youthful enthusiasm, his vivid sense of humor, and his ability to capture the essence of a situation in a wisecrack, or striking one-liner. He was a man of many dimensions.


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February 21, 2024
February 21, 2024