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April 18, 1911|
Lemberg, Austria-Hungary (now Lviv, Ukraine)
|Died||May 11, 2011
East Setauket, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Berlin
|Doctoral advisor||James Chadwick|
|Known for||Neutrinos and negative helicity|
|Notable awards||Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics (1971)
National Medal of Science (1983)
Wolf Prize in Physics (1991)
J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize (1982)
Fermi Award (1998)
Early Life and Childhood
In 1934, working at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England he and James Chadwick, through what they called the nuclear photo-electric effect, established that the neutron has a great enough mass over the proton to decay.
He joined Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1950. With Edward Teller he proposed that the so-called "giant-dipole nuclear resonance" was due to the neutrons in a nucleus vibrating as a group against the protons as a group (Goldhaber-Teller model).
He made a well-known bet with Hartland Snyder in about 1955 that anti-protons could not exist; when he lost the bet, he speculated that the reason anti-matter does not appear to be abundant in the universe is that before the Big Bang, a single particle, the "universon" existed that then decayed into "cosmon" and "anti-cosmon," and that the cosmon subsequently decayed to produce the known cosmos. In the 1950s also he speculated that all fermions such as electrons, protons and neutrons are "doubled," that is that each is associated with a similar heavier particle. He also speculated that in what became known as the Goldhaber-Christie model, the so-called strange particles were composites of just 3 basic particles. He was Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory from 1961 to 1973.
Among his many other awards, he won the National Medal of Science in 1983, the Wolf Prize in 1991, the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize in 1982 (shared with Robert Marshak), and the Fermi Award in 1998.
Maurice Goldhaber's brother Gerson Goldhaber was a professor of physics at the University of California Berkeley; his son Alfred Scharff Goldhaber is a professor of physics at SUNY Stony Brook; his grandson (son of Alfred) David Goldhaber-Gordon is a professor of physics at Stanford.
In 2001, Brookhaven National Laboratory created the Gertrude and Maurice Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowships in his honor. These prestigious Fellowships are awarded to early-career scientists with exceptional talent and credentials who have a strong desire for independent research at the frontiers of their fields.
- G. Feinberg, A.W. Sunyar, J. Weneser, A Festschrift for Maurice Goldhaber,New York Academy of Sciences (1993), ISBN 0-89766-086-2
- Kenneth Chang (2011-05-17). "Maurice Goldhaber, Atomic Physicist, Is Dead at 100". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
Dr. Goldhaber was director of the Brookhaven lab from 1961 to 1973, overseeing experiments there that led to three Nobel Prizes. His most famous contribution to science’s basic understanding of how the universe works involved the ghostly, perplexing subatomic particles known as neutrinos.
- Goldhaber, Maurice (2002), "A closer look at the elementary fermions.", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (published Jan 8, 2002), 99 (1), pp. 33–6, arXiv:, Bibcode:2002PNAS...99...33G, doi:10.1073/pnas.221582298, PMC , PMID 11773637
- Maurice Goldhaber at the President's National Medal of Science
- "Oppenheimer Prize awarded to Goldhaber and Marshak". Physics Today. American Institute of Physics: 89. September 1982. Bibcode:1982PhT....35i..89.. doi:10.1063/1.2915276. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- Goldhaber Distinguished Fellowships
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- Description of Goldhaber's spinning neutrino experiment
- Biography of Maurice Goldhaber at Fermi Award website
- Oral History interview transcript with Maurice Goldhaber 10 January 1967, American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library and Archives