Silvan S. Schweber

sam schweber

Professor of Physics, Emeritus
Richard Koret Professor in the History of Ideas


PhD, Princeton University, 1952


  • Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics, 2011
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Silvan Schweber was involved in research in the history of science. Areas included the history of quantum field theory since World War II, the visualization of elementary processes (Feynman diagrams), and the impact of these methods on the conceptualization of physics; post-World War II science; science at the end of the century; and a biography of Hans A. Bethe.

Sample of Publications

Einstein and Oppenheimer: The Meaning of Genius, Harvard University Press, 2008.

In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist, Princeton University Press, 2000.

August Comte and the Nebular Hypothesis in In the Presence of the Past, Essays in Honor of Frank Manuel, R. Bienvenue and M. Feingold, eds. (Kluwer Academic 1991) p. 280-365.

Big Science in Context: Cornell and M.I.T. in Big Science: The Growth of Large-Scale Research, P. Galison and B. Hevly, eds. (Stanford University Press 1992), p. 149-189.

Scientists and the State: The Legacy of World War II in Social Studies of Science, (SAGE, London, Newbury Park and New Delhi 1993), vol 23, p. 595-642.

Changing Conceptualization of Renormalization in Renormalization Theory, L. Brown, ed. (New York:Springer Verlag 1993) p. 135-155.

The Conceptual Foundations and Philosophical Aspects of Renormalization Theory (with Tian Yua Cao) in Synthese 97 (Kluwer Academic 1993) p. 33-108.

Physics, Community, and the Crisis in Physical Theory, in Physics Today (November 1993), p. 34-40.

QED and the Men Who Made It: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonago, Princeton University Press, 1994.

A Historical Perspective on the Rise of the Standard Model, to appear in The Use of the Standard Model, L. Brown, L. Hoddeson, and M. Riordan, eds. (Cambridge University Press 1995).

Telling the Life of Hans Bethe, Writing Scientific Biography, R. Yeo, ed. (Cambridge University Press 1995).

Scientists and the State: The Legacy of World War II, in Trends in the Historiography of Science, Kostas Gavroglu, et al., eds. (Dordrecht:Kluwer 1994), p. 327-354.