The University of Calgary is partnering with the Josh Literary Society of Canada to host a unique symposium June 12 focused on highlighting the formative breakthroughs made by Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Professor Abdus Salam.
The event is a partnership between scientists, historians and literary experts who will share their expertise and showcase Salam’s research, intellectual brilliance and humanistic characteristics.
The symposium is open to the public and is being held Friday in Science Theatre 140. For more information about this event and its speakers, please click here.
Salam, who was born in Pakistan in 1926 and died in 1996, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 for his contributions to electroweak unification theory.
The scientific ‘father’ of mathematical and theoretical physics
Salam’s research forged novel insights into theoretical and particle physics. He also modernized quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, and is recognized as the founder and scientific father of mathematical and theoretical physics in the subcontinent. His contributions also stretched to the humanitarian side, tirelessly promoting the development of science in developing nations.
“Dr. Salam had an innate ability to use high powered mathematics for distilling the beauty and elegance of physics and the universe,” says Barry Sanders, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Calgary and speaker at Friday’s symposium. “He was also very dedicated to fostering science in developing countries—something that has been very influential to my work and career, inspiring me to encourage quantum physics research and training in developing countries”.
The University of Calgary is an international, intellectual hub for major advances in the field of physics, and is home to an outstanding group of physicists, many of whom will be keynote speakers at the symposium. This event provides a unique opportunity for the broader public to interact with prominent scientists and scholars while instilling a sense of scientific curiosity in the minds of younger generations.
Bridging the university and the community
The event also provides “scholarly and academic bridging between the university and the public at large, central not only for promoting and supporting science to the general public but also in helping researchers gain insights into the non-academic lives of scholars who preceded them,” says Iqbal Kazmi, founding member and Chair of the Josh Literary Society of Canada.
Robert Thompson, professor and head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will be speaking at the symposium on 'Understanding Antimatter: The Global Connection.' He says: “Dr. Salam’s influential work led to the founding of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, expanded the pursuit of understanding the foundations of the field and was highly recognized by CERN, the world’s leading subatomic physics laboratory.”
Moving forward, scientists will continue in the spirit of Salam’s work, using the facilities at CERN to test the foundations of physics.
Thompson says: “With significant participation from Calgary scientists, ALPHA, an international collaboration studying antimatter at CERN, is a wonderful example of an Eyes High initiative that reflects so much of the vision and priorities of the University of Calgary’s Research and Academic plans, from enabling an international and multidisciplinary team, working together in creating an outstanding environment to enable success, building research instrumentation at CERN that creates an incredible research station used by Calgarians and studying the foundations of science underlying everything from energy to evolution of space to medical imaging."