Schweber wins major award for writings on history of physics

Silvan S. Schweber, professor of physics emeritus and Richard Koret Professor in the History of Ideas, has been awarded the 2011 Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics "for his sophisticated, technically masterful historical studies of the emergence of quantum field theory and quantum electrodynamics, and broadly insightful biographical writing on several of the most influential physicists of the 20th century: Einstein, Oppenheimer, and Bethe."

Schweber is author with Hans Bethe and Fred de Hoffman of Volume I of "Mesons and Fields" and of "Introduction to Relativistic Quantum Field Theory." Since the mid-1970s, his research interests have focused on the history of science. He has written extensively on Charles Darwin and 19th Century evolutionary theories and since the mid 1980s on the history of physics during the 20th Century. He helped establish the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT in 1988 and was its first director. Since 1981 he has been a faculty associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard. He took emeritus status at Brandeis in 2005. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A member of the Brandeis Physics Department since 1955, Schweber was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1928.  He came to the United States in July 1942, attended the City College of New York, and graduated as a chemistry and physics major in 1947. He obtained a master of science in physics  from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949 and a Ph.D. from  Princeton University in 1952, working with Professor Arthur Wightman.

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