Mohammad Abdus Salam

Abdus Salam

Early Life and Contributions:

Mohammad Abdus Salam, was born in January 29, 1926 in Punjab. He was a Pakistani theoretical physicist, astrophysicist. He was also the first Pakistani and Muslim (he belonged to Ahmadiyya Muslim Community) to win the Nobel laureate in Physics for his work in Electro-Weak Theory.

Salam, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg shared the prize for this discovery. He received the Smith’s Prize from Cambridge University, for the pre-doctoral contribution to Physics and the Hopkins Prize. Later on, he wrote a doctoral thesis on the fundamental work in Quantum electrodynamics. This was published in 1951 and enabled him to earn the Adams Prize. In 1956 he was invited to take a chair at Imperial College, London, where he and Paul Matthews created a lively theoretical physics group. During the early 1960s, however, Salam played a very significant role in establishing the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) – the atomic research agency of Pakistan – and Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) – the space research agency of Pakistan, of which he was the founding director.

He was also the founder of the Third world academy of sciences (TWAS)and the International centre for theoretical physics (ICTP) .


Salam was also responsible for initiating research on water logging and salinity problems in Pakistan. He also played a critical role in agricultural research, PAEC and SUPARCO, the international space agency in Pakistan. Abdus Salam was the pioneered of all the important developments in the theoretical elementary particle physics. He also served on a number of United Nations committees, concerning science and technology in developing countries. Abdus Salam prepared and taught future Pakistani engineers and scientists in the field of mathematics and physics.

His contributions was research on the physics of elementary particles. His most famous contributions included: Two-component neutrino theory and the prediction of the inevitable parity violation in weak interaction, gauge unification of weak and electromagnetic interaction. This unified force is known as the “Electroweak” force, a name given to it by Salam, and which lays the foundation of the Standard Model in particle physics and predicted existence of weak neutral currents and W particles and Z particles before their experimental discovery, symmetry properties of elementary particles; unitary symmetry, renormalization of meson theories, gravity theory and its role in particle physics; two tensor theory of gravity and strong interaction physics, unification of electroweak with strong nuclear forces, grand unification theory; related prediction of proton-decay.

Some other contributions of Salam include Pati-Salam model, a grand unification theory, Super symmetry theory, in particular, formulation of Super space and formalism of super fields in 1974, the theory of super manifolds, as a geometrical framework for understanding super symmetry, in 1974, Super geometry, the geometric basis for super symmetry, in 1974, the application of the Higgs mechanism to the electroweak symmetry breaking and prediction of the magnetic photon in 1966.


Abdus Salam died on 21st November 1996 at the age of 70 in Oxford, England after a prolonged illness. His body was brought to Pakistan and buried in Bahishti Maqbara in Rabwah.