# Professor Emeritus Roman Jackiw, “big of theoretical physics,” dies at 83 » MIT Physics

[ad_1]

## Over greater than 50 years at MIT, he made basic contributions to quantum subject principle and found topological and geometric phenomena.

Eminent theoretical physicist and Dirac Medalist Roman Jackiw, MIT professor emeritus and holder of the Division of Physics’ Jerrold Zacharias chair, died June 14 at age 83. He was a member of the MIT physics neighborhood for 54 years.

A frontrunner within the refined use of quantum subject principle to light up bodily issues, his influential work on topology and anomalies in quantum subject principle (QFT) underlies many points of theoretical physics at the moment.

Iain Stewart, the MIT Middle for Theoretical Physics (CTP) director and Otto (1939) and Jane Morningstar Professor of Science, says that Jackiw “served as an inspiration for what one can obtain as a theoretical physicist. He made profound contributions to bodily issues in a variety of areas, together with particle physics, condensed matter physics, and gravitational physics.”

“Professor Jackiw was a pioneer within the subject of mathematical physics,” says Nergis Mavalvala, the Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and dean of the MIT College of Science. “His imaginative use of quantum subject principle make clear bodily issues, together with his work on topological solitons, subject principle at excessive temperatures, the existence of anomalies, and the function of those anomalies in particle physics.”

Says Frank Wilczek, a CTP colleague who’s the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics and a 2004 Nobel Laureate, “Roman Jackiw had an uncanny knack for figuring out ‘curiosities’ which have grown into fertile, vibrant areas of physics analysis. His seminal contributions to the idea of anomalies, the interaction of topology with quantum principle, and fractional quantum numbers are a wealthy legacy which has develop into central to each basic physics and fashionable quantum engineering.”

“He was a serious, main determine in theoretical physics,” Wilczek mentioned to his viewers at a convention he attended a day after Jackiw’s dying. “Roman was a pioneer in all these topics, and superior them drastically, earlier than they turned so common.”

He’s famend for his many basic contributions and discoveries in quantum and classical subject theories. Amongst his main achievements is the institution of the presence of the well-known Adler–Bell–Jackiw anomalies in quantum subject principle, a discovery with far-reaching implications for the construction of the Commonplace Mannequin of particle physics and all makes an attempt to transcend it.

Jackiw shared the Dirac Medal with Stephen Adler of Princeton College for his or her “celebrated triangle anomaly, one of the vital profound examples of the relevance of quantum subject principle to the true world,” says the quotation from the Worldwide Centre for Theoretical Physics. “Jackiw made a serious contribution to subject theories related to condensed matter physics in his discovery (with Boston College’s Claudio Rebbi) of fractional cost and spin in these theories.” They acquired the medal in 1998 from the Worldwide Middle for Theoretical Physics in Italy.

“Roman’s model was rigorous and mathematically refined, however not pedantic,” says Robert L. Jaffe, the Otto (1939) and Jane Morningstar Professor of Science, Publish-Tenure. “After his early groundbreaking work on the ‘triangle anomaly,’ Roman for a few years targeted on the applying of topological strategies in quantum subject principle. Though Jackiw was in a roundabout way concerned within the creation of the Commonplace Mannequin, which revolutionized physics within the final third of the twentieth century, the strategies of study that Roman invented have been usually important to its improvement.”

Bolek Wyslouch, professor of physics and director of MIT’s Laboratory for Nuclear Science, calls Jackiw “a towering determine in theoretical physics — one of many leaders that made MIT and the Middle for Theoretical Physics world’s first … His foundational work was instrumental in establishing the Commonplace Mannequin of particle physics, one of the vital profitable theories in physics.”

**Ukrainian roots**

Born Roman Volodymyr Yatskiv in Lubliniec, Poland, to a Ukrainian household in 1939, his title was Romanized to Jackiw.

“We stayed in Poland till it turned clear that the Russians and the Communists can be the dominant pressure there, and … my father didn’t wish to dwell underneath these situations,” recalled Jackiw in an oral historical past revealed by the American Institute of Physics. They went to dwell close to his father’s different kids, in Austria, and ultimately moved to Germany earlier than settling in New York Metropolis when Jackiw was about 10.

“I used to be heartbroken to be leaving (Germany),” mentioned Jackiw. “It’s a city referred to as Dingolfing, most likely recognized as of late to automobile buffs as a result of BMW began in Dingolfing, or had one among its unique factories in Dingolfing.”

In New York, he was educated by Xaverian monks in junior excessive, and Christian brothers in highschool. “I turned satisfied I needed to be a physicist after studying [George] Gamow’s “One Two Three… Infinity,” recalled Jackiw. “He describes folks doing issues that sounded fascinating to me and I needed to do them. It was really an act of religion as a result of I didn’t get to do them till graduate faculty.”

After graduating from Swarthmore School in 1961, the place he majored in physics with minors in historical past of science and arithmetic, he went to Cornell College, the place he labored with professors Hans Bethe and Kenneth Wilson and acquired his PhD in 1966. Jackiw recalled engaged on a thesis that went towards Wilson’s recommendation.

“He needed me to make use of the renormalization group to seek out the high-energy habits of type elements in electrodynamics. It seems that the renormalization group doesn’t management that, however different approximations can be utilized to resolve that drawback, and I did. My thesis was revealed and it’s nonetheless referred to.”

He had needed to work with Bethe, however Bethe was doing nuclear physics whereas Jackiw was extra enthusiastic about particle physics. Nonetheless, Bethe requested him to co-author a textbook on quantum mechanics: “Intermediate Quantum Mechanics.” The favored guide, most not too long ago revised in 2018, was for a few years the fundamental introduction to the applying of quantum mechanics to atomic physics.

From 1966 to 1969, he was a junior fellow at Harvard College. In his second yr he went to CERN, working with John Bell. “I mentioned present algebra loads with him,” Jackiw recalled, “after which we fell into the issue of the decay of the impartial pion into two photons, which was a puzzle at the moment, and we studied the properties of the axial vector present and found the axial vector present anomaly, and wrote a paper, which is my most cited paper and in addition John Bell’s most-cited *Particle Physics* paper, actually.”

On the time, principle appeared to foretell that the impartial pion couldn’t decay into two photons, however the decay had been noticed in experiments. With the Bell–Jackiw–Adler anomaly, clarified later by Stephen Adler, they “have been capable of clarify the noticed decays theoretically by including an ‘anomalous’ time period ensuing from the divergences of quantum subject principle,” in response to an article in *Physics World*.

In his ultimate yr at Harvard, Jackiw had been working with different theorists at MIT. Physics professors Steven Weinberg and Sergio Fubini, along with physics division head Victor Weisskopf, helped to provoke Jackiw’s lengthy profession as a professor on the Institute, which started in 1969. In his first years at MIT, Jackiw and David Gross confirmed that cancellation of gauge anomalies implied an fascinating connection between fermions within the Commonplace Mannequin — specifically, that fermions in two lessons, these that are strongly interacting and people which aren’t, have to seem the identical variety of occasions. Over time this cancellation continued to recommend the existence of recent fermions earlier than they have been noticed.

Jackiw held visiting professorships at Rockefeller College in 1977-78, on the College of California Los Angeles and the College of California at Santa Barbara in 1980, and at Columbia College in 1989-90. He turned an emeritus professor in 2013.

**An uncommon type of greatness**

Jackiw had mentioned he had two our bodies of labor. The primary have been “mathematical investigations which match Dirac’s criterion of magnificence and have bodily utility as a result of they’re lovely, like fractional cost phenomenon that I discussed earlier, and just like the anomaly phenomenon, just like the Chern-Simons phrases which I launched with the assistance of [Stanley] Deser and college students and later explored with So-Younger Pi.” Pi, presently a Boston College physics professor emerita, is a distinguished physicist who was a co-author on lots of Jackiw’s papers, and is Jackiw’s widow.

“However then again, I’ve additionally executed type of methodological investigations, which weren’t essentially unique however utilized current schemes to new context. Like for instance, determining learn how to do quantum subject principle at finite temperature and relativistic quantum subject principle at finite temperature, taking on what they do in condensed matter physics and non-relativistic quantum subject principle method to condensed matter physics at finite temperature.”

Jackiw was recognized for engaged on mathematically intricate physics with out an utility in thoughts. “What I’ve all the time appreciated is to do work which appears obscure however fascinating, after which a long time later it catches on,” he mentioned.

“Roman Jackiw was an enormous of theoretical physics, however of a considerably uncommon type,” remembers Daniel Harlow, the Jerrold R. Zacharias Profession Improvement Affiliate Professor of Physics on the Middle for Theoretical Physics. “He was not often engaged on the identical factor as others, and certainly if one thing he was doing began catching on then he would usually flip to one thing else. And but his concepts had a manner of rising up: He would go away them mendacity round, after which a decade or two later everybody else would notice that he had actually been on to one thing.”

For instance, Harlow as soon as requested him why he had been learning gravity in two spacetime dimensions. “His response: ‘Properly, everybody else was interested by gravity in additional than 4 dimensions, so I figured I’d see what occurs in fewer than 4.’”

“His work on low-dimensional gravity from the Eighties has actually taken off within the final 5 years,” says Harlow. “His affect can be felt each right here at MIT and world wide for generations.”

David Kaiser, a physics professor and the Germeshausen Professor of the Historical past of Science, says that, whereas working with a CTP doctoral candidate, “It looks like each different day we uncover that Roman had first revealed on this-or-that piece of what we are attempting to determine, a few years in the past, in better generality and with way more class than we had ever aspired to. He and his work stay a serious inspiration for us.”

Certainly, apart from Jackiw’s celebrated work on anomalies, different essential examples of his contributions embrace offering the primary instance of cost and spin fractionalization with solitons, elucidating the periodic vacuum construction of the non-abelian gauge theories that type the core of the Commonplace Mannequin of particle physics, launching the usage of quantum subject principle for the rigorous research of methods at finite temperature, and figuring out the character of Chern-Simons phrases for each gauge and gravitational theories.~~ ~~

This broad vary of analysis influenced numerous others. “To get an appreciation of Roman’s impression on theoretical and mathematical physics, one want solely have a look at how usually folks discuss with him by title of their papers, with examples together with ‘Adler-Bell-Jackiw anomalies,’ ‘Jackiw-Teitelboim gravity,’ ‘Fadeev-Jackiw quantization,’ the ‘Jackiw-Nohl-Ressen ansatz,’ and the ‘Jackiw-Rossi,’ ‘Jackiw-Rebbi,’ and ‘Jackiw-Pi’ fashions,” says Stewart.

Roman had over 30 PhD college students, together with Estia Eichten (Cornell), Joseph Lykken (Fermilab), and Andrew Strominger (Harvard); he was “a really profitable mentor to generations of PhD college students who fashioned a ‘faculty’ of theoretical physics targeted on the usage of refined mathematical strategies to discover the bodily content material of quantum subject theories,” remembers Jaffe.

**Different** **awards and honors**

From 1969 to 1971, Jackiw was honored as an Alfred P. Sloan Analysis Fellow, and from 1977 to 1978 as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow. In 1995 Jackiw acquired the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics from the American Bodily Society “for his imaginative use of quantum subject principle to throw mild on bodily issues, together with his work on topological solitons, subject principle at excessive temperatures, the existence of anomalies, and the function of those anomalies in particle physics.” In 2007 he acquired the Bonnor Essay Prize from Queen Mary College of London.

He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Bodily Society, and the Nationwide Academy of Sciences, and a international member of the Ukrainian Nationwide Academy of Sciences. Honorary doctorates have been additionally awarded by Turin College, Italy; Uppsala College, Sweden; the Kyiv Bogolyubov Institute, Ukraine; and Montréal College, Canada.

Professor Jackiw wrote six different books: “Lectures on Present Algebra and its Functions” (with S. Treiman and D. Gross); “Dynamical Gauge Symmetry Breaking” (with E. Farhi) 1982; “Shelter Island II” (with N. Khuri, S. Weinberg and E. Witten) 1985; “Present Algebra and Anomalies” (With S. Treiman. B. Zumino and E. Witten) 1985; “Various Matters in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics,” 1995; and “Lectures on Fluid Dynamics,” 2002.

“I’ve immense respect for his legacy and achievement, and drastically admire the doorways he has opened for the remainder of us,” says Stewart.

He’s survived by his spouse, So-Younger Pi, and three kids: Stefan Jackiw, a violinist; Nicholas Jackiw, a software program designer; and Simone Ahlborn, an educator at Moses Brown College in Windfall, Rhode Island. Funeral providers can be non-public.

[ad_2]