Maurice Goldhaber

National Medal of Science

Physical Sciences

For his many contributions to all aspects of nuclear physics and more recently particle physics, and for the leadership he has provided the scientific community, as an administrator of science, as a shaper of scientific thought, and as a prolific source of stimulating ideas.

For his many contributions to all aspects of nuclear physics and more recently particle physics, and for the leadership he has provided the scientific community, as an administrator of science, as a shaper of scientific thought, and as a prolific source of stimulating ideas.

VIEW STATISTICS +

Birth
April 18, 1911
Age Awarded
72
Country of Birth
Austria
Key Contributions
Goldhaber-Teller Model; Posited That Neutrinos Have Negative Helicity
Awarded by
Ronald Wilson Reagan
Education
Cambridge University
University of Berlin
Areas of Impact
Theory & Foundations
Affiliations
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Other Prizes
Enrico Fermi Award
M

Maurice Goldhaber was destined for nuclear physics. The year Goldhaber was born, 1911, was also the year the atomic nucleus was discovered. His life would become intertwined with nuclear physics at a young age and the decades that followed would usher in a whole new age of understanding the world on the atomic level.

Goldhaber’s observations helped create a standard model of particle physics. His other studies delved into understanding neutrinos, nuclear decay, and the effect of x-rays on a nucleus.

Later in his career, he would become a remarkable leader in both teaching and administration. While serving as director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, three Nobel prizes would be awarded to scientists under Goldhaber’s guidance.

At the laboratory, Goldhaber was generous with his insights and tenacious in finding explanations of phenomena. His guiding philosophy was to push boundaries and back worthy projects to their completion. He diligently worked into his 90’s proclaiming to colleagues “I don’t have time to age.” 

By Melissa Ayala

...