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Hugh David Politzer (born 31 August 1949) is an American theoretical physicist. He shared the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David Gross and Frank Wilczek for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in quantum chromodynamics.
Life and career 
Politzer was born in New York City the son Drs Alan and Valerie Politzer who immigrated to the US after World War 2. He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1966, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1969, and his PhD in 1974 from Harvard University, where his graduate advisor was Sidney Coleman.
In his first published article, which appeared in 1973, Politzer described the phenomenon of asymptotic freedom: the closer quarks are to each other, the weaker the strong interaction will be between them. When quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost like free particles. This result—independently discovered at around the same time by Gross and Wilczek at Princeton University—was extremely important in the development of quantum chromodynamics. With Thomas Appelquist, Politzer also played a central role in predicting the existence of "charmonium", a subatomic particle formed of a charm quark and a charm antiquark.
Politzer was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1974 to 1977 before moving to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he is currently professor of theoretical physics. In 1989 he appeared in a minor role as Manhattan Project physicist Robert Serber in the movie Fat Man and Little Boy.
He was also the lead vocalist in the 1980s for Professor Politzer and the Rho Mesons, which put out their hit single, "The Simple Harmonic Oscillator".
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