Mohammad Abdus Salam NI, SPk, KBE (/sæˈlæm/; Punjabi, Urdu: عبد السلام, pronounced [əbd̪ʊs səlaːm]; 29 January 1926 – 21 November 1996), was a Pakistani theoretical physicist. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory. He was the first Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize in science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize (after Anwar Sadat of Egypt).
Salam was science advisor to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Pakistan from 1960 to 1974, a position from which he was supposed to play a major and influential role in the development of the country’s science infrastructure. Salam contributed to developments in theoretical and particle physics. He was the founding director of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and responsible for the establishment of the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) in the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). As Science Advisor, Salam played a role in Pakistan’s development of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and may have contributed as well to development of atomic bomb project of Pakistan in 1972; for this, he is viewed as the “scientific father” of this programme. In 1974, Abdus Salam departed from his country, in protest, after the Parliament of Pakistanpassed unanimously a parliamentary bill declaring members of the Ahmadiyya movement to which Salam belonged non-Muslims. In 1998, following the country’s nuclear tests, the Government of Pakistan issued a commemorative stamp, as a part of “Scientists of Pakistan”, to honour the services of Salam.
Salam’s notable achievements include the Pati–Salam model, magnetic photon, vector meson, Grand Unified Theory, work on supersymmetry and, most importantly, electroweak theory, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize. Salam made a major contribution in quantum field theory and in the advancement of Mathematics at Imperial College London. With his student, Riazuddin, Salam made important contributions to the modern theory on neutrinos, neutron stars and black holes, as well as the work on modernising the quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. As a teacher and science promoter, Salam is remembered as a founder and scientific father of mathematical and theoretical physics in Pakistan during his term as the chief scientific advisor to the president. Salam heavily contributed to the rise of Pakistani physics to the physics community in the world. Even until shortly before his death, Salam continued to contribute to physics, and to advocate for the development of science in Third-World countries.
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