Gross, David J.

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GROSS, DAVID J. (1941– ), U.S. physicist and Nobel laureate. Gross was born in Washington, d.c. and educated in Jerusalem where his father established the School of Business Administration at the Hebrew University. He graduated B.Sc. in physics and mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1962). He returned to the U.S. and gained his Ph.D. in particle physics (1966) from the University of California at Berkeley under the direction of Geoffrey Chew. He was a research fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows at Harvard University and visiting professor to cern (1966–69) before joining Princeton University in 1969 where he became professor in 1973, Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics (1986–95), and Jones Professor of Physics (1995–97). From 1997 he was director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics and Frederick W. Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara. His research career was devoted to devising theoretical models to account for the accruing puzzling observations in particle physics. A particular problem is the observation that the force which attract quarks, the fundamental particles which comprise protons and neutrons, increases when quarks are separated and diminishes when they get closer to each other, a phenomenon termed "asymptotic freedom." With his colleagues H. David Politzer and Franz Wilczek, Gross devised the standard theoretical model of the strong interactive force between quarks and the gluons mediating this force and explaining this phenomenon. Because these particles carry a "color" charge, this field of study is termed "quantum chromodynamics." Their theory has been substantially validated experimentally. Gross, Politzer, and Wilczek shared the Nobel Prize in Physics (2004) for these discoveries. Gross was a major contributor to many key national and international organizations concerned with scientific policy and education. His many honors include election to the American Physical Society (1974), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1985), and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1986), the Dirac Medal (2000), and the Harvey Prize of the Haifa Technion (2000). He was visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1984) and Weizmann lecturer at the Weizmann Institute (1996). He was director of the Jerusalem Winter School since 1999. He has two daughters, both academics, from his first marriage to Shulamith Toaff. He is now married to Jacquelyn Savani.

[Michael Denman (2nd ed.)]