Jack Steinberger

Experimental Particle Physicist, Nobel Price Winner 1988, Instituto Nazionale di Fisica, Universita di Pisa

Moving mind portrait of
Nobel Price Winner Jack Steinberger

At the age of 94 Jack Steinberger keeps on going to his CERN office daily. During the interview we spoke about his life, the 2nd World War, religion, dark matter, his role model Enrico Fermi and much more.

I think the most important thing in your life is luck. The fact that I had Enrico Fermi for a teacher was the biggest piece of luck I have had in my life. He was the most important person in my physics life.

I did a cosmic ray study and Fermi helped me to  get all I needed to do this experiment. He had the idea that the  experiment would go faster if I were on top of the mountain.  I could do it three times as fast. He was enormously kind and clever, a magnificent example to try to follow. My thesis work had an important result but we did not realize this fact. It was the foundation for a concept of universal weak interaction.

Together with Leon Max Lederman and Melvin Schwartz I did an experiment and we got the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988 because of the results out of this experiment. The neutrino beam method. The instigator of the experiment was Melvin Schwarz, he had been my student before.

The physics world has enourmosly changed since my thesis  experiment in 1948 which I could do quite alone. The challenges have become more and more technical and it has become very  difficult to learn something new. Nevertheless it would be great to know what is dark matter.

© Bree Corn, http://www.passionate-about.com