David Gross

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David Gross
David Gross LANL.jpg
Born David Jonathan Gross
(1941-02-19) February 19, 1941 (age 76)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Physics, String Theory
Institutions University of California, Santa Barbara
Harvard University
Princeton University
Alma mater Hebrew University of Jerusalem
University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisor Geoffrey Chew
Doctoral students Frank Wilczek
Edward Witten
William E. Caswell
Rajesh Gopakumar
Nikita Nekrasov[1]
Known for Asymptotic freedom
Heterotic string
Gross–Neveu model
Notable awards Dirac Medal (1988)
Harvey Prize (2000)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2004)
Spouse Shulamith Toaff Gross (divorced; 2 children)
Jacquelyn Savani

David Jonathan Gross (/ɡrs/; born February 19, 1941) is an American theoretical physicist and string theorist. Along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of asymptotic freedom. He is the former director and current holder of the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also a faculty member in the UC Santa Barbara Physics Department and is currently affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Studies at Chapman University in California. He is the Foreign Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences.[2]


Gross was born to a Jewish family in Washington, D.C., in February 19, 1941. His parents were Nora (Faine) and Bertram Myron Gross (1912–1997). Gross received his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1966 under the supervision of Geoffrey Chew.[3]

He was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University and a Professor at Princeton University until 1997. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1987, the Dirac Medal in 1988 and the Harvey Prize in 2000.[3]

In 1973, Professor Gross, working with his first graduate student, Frank Wilczek, at Princeton University, discovered asymptotic freedom, which holds that the closer quarks are to each other, the less the strong interaction (or color charge) is between them; when quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. Asymptotic freedom, independently discovered by Politzer, was important for the development of quantum chromodynamics.

Gross, with Jeffrey A. Harvey, Emil Martinec, and Ryan Rohm also formulated the theory of the heterotic string. The four were to be whimsically nicknamed the "Princeton String Quartet".[4]

In 2003, Gross was one of 22 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto.[5] Gross is an atheist.[6][7]


David's first wife was Shulamith (Toaff). They have two children:

His second wife is Jacquelyn Savani. He has a stepdaughter, Miranda Savani, in Santa Barbara, California.[8] She was born in North Huntingdon, and is an assistant to the chancellor and executive chancellor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and media consultant for Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.[9]

Honors and awards[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

Journal articles:

Technical reports:


  1. ^ David Jonathan Gross at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ "Foreign Members---Academic Divisions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences". english.casad.cas.cn. Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  3. ^ a b "Autobiography". nobelprize.org. Retrieved 23 Apr 2013. 
  4. ^ String Theory, at 20, Explains It All (or Not). NY Times (2004-12-07)
  5. ^ "Notable Signers". Humanism and Its Aspirations. American Humanist Association. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  6. ^ Krauss, Lawrence Maxwell. Hiding in the Mirror: The Quest for Alternate Realities, from Plato to String Theory (by Way of Alice in Wonderland, Einstein, and the Twilight Zone). New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.
  7. ^ hri.org: "He also said that he is atheist and humanist".
  8. ^ nobelprize.org
  9. ^ news.google.com

External links[edit]