Marvin Leonard Goldberger

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Marvin Leonard "Murph" Goldberger (October 22, 1922 – November 26, 2014) was a theoretical physicist and former president of the California Institute of Technology.[1][2]


Goldberger was born in Chicago, Illinois. He went on to receive his B.S. at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1948 or 1949. His advisor on thesis, Interaction of High-Energy Neutrons with Heavy Nuclei, was Enrico Fermi.[3]

Goldberger was a professor of physics at Princeton University from 1957 through 1977. He received the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics in 1961,[4] and in 1963 was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. From 1978 through 1987 he served as president of Caltech. He was the Director of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1987 to 1991.[5] From 1991 to 1993 he was a professor of physics at the University of California, Los Angeles. From 1993 until his death in November, 2014, he served on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, first as a professor of physics and then as a professor emeritus. Goldberger also served as Dean of Natural Sciences for UC San Diego from 1994 to 1999.[6]

In 1954, he and Murray Gell-Mann introduced crossing symmetry.[7] In 1958, he and Sam Bard Treiman published the so-called Goldberger–Treiman relation.[8]

He was a participant in 1958's Project 137 and a member of JASON. He was involved in nuclear arms control efforts. He also advised a number of major corporations; for example he was on the board of directors of General Motors for 12 years.[9]

He died in La Jolla, California.


  • Marvin L. Goldberger (1961). Introduction to the theory and applications of dispersion relations. Hermann. 
  • Marvin L. Goldberger & Kenneth M. Watson (2004). Collision Theory. Dover. ISBN 0-486-43507-5.  (corrected version of book originally published in 1964)
  • Francesco Calogero, Marvin L. Goldberger, and Sergei P. Kapitza (editor) (1991). Verification: Monitoring Disarmament. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-0965-4. 


  1. ^ Marvin "Murph" Goldberger, Array of Contemporary American Physicists
  2. ^ Woo, Elaine (November 28, 2014). "Marvin Goldberger dies at 92; physicist served as Caltech president". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ Mathematics Genealogy Project Retrieved January 10, 2007.
  4. ^ APS page on Dannie Heineman Prize. Retrieved January 10, 2007
  5. ^ Anthony DePalma (1991-06-26). "For Scholarly Nirvana, Familiar Questions as Leaders Change". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2011. Dr. Goldberger, a former president of the California Institute of Technology, is a wry man who is able, despite his revered office (it belonged to J. Robert Oppenheimer from 1947 to 1966), to poke fun at himself. Given such an independent and strong-willed faculty, he said he sees the director's job as more that of pit crew than of car driver in this intellectual road race. 
  6. ^ Elaine Woo (2014-11-28). "Marvin Goldberger dies at 92; physicist served as Caltech president". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 1, 2014. He left Caltech to become director of the Institute for Advanced Study, the Princeton, N.J., think tank that had been home to such luminaries as Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer. Goldberger held that post from 1987 to 1991, when he moved to UCLA to teach physics. He spent his last years at UC San Diego, where he was dean of the school of natural sciences from 1994 to 1999. 
  7. ^ Gell-Mann, M., and Goldberger, M. L. (1954). "The scattering of low energy photons by particles of spin 1/2." Physical Review, 96, 1433–8.
  8. ^ Golberger, Marvin L.; Treiman, S.B. (1958). "Decay of the π Meson". Physical Review. 110 (5): 1178. Bibcode:1958PhRv..110.1178G. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.110.1178. 
  9. ^ Finn Aaserud (February 12, 1986). "Oral History Transcript — Dr. Marvin Goldberger". American Institute of Physics. 

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