Kurt Gottfried: Physicist, Author & Co-Founder of UCS Dies at 93

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In summary, physicist Kurt Gottfried, who passed away on August 25, was not only known for co-authoring a famous quantum mechanics textbook but also for his work in public policy, including nuclear arms control and climate change. He was highly respected by his colleagues and remembered for his warmth and affection towards graduate students.
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Doc Al said:
I didn't realize he was a co-founder of the UCS. Nice.
“Kurt clearly felt that scientists were obligated to participate in efforts to help shape public policy at the interface between science and society,” said Peter Lepage, the James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in physics. “He showed us all how this could be done effectively with his extensive work, over more than four decades, on such topics as nuclear arms control, international human rights, climate change and scientific integrity in policy making.”

Great article, thanks Doc. A life well-lived. RIP.
N. David Mermin, the Horace White Professor of Physics Emeritus, was a graduate student at Harvard during Gottfried’s time there.

“The physics department kept graduate students in a cluster of underground offices in the basement and Kurt was the only faculty member ever to visit those depths,” Mermin said. “He did so repeatedly, talking to each of us about our own research, whether or not it was in theoretical particle physics, his own specialty. He is remembered for this with warmth and affection.”
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Only saw this through a search after reading both editions, 2nd with Yan, of his great textbook this week. Wonderful writer!
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Related to Kurt Gottfried: Physicist, Author & Co-Founder of UCS Dies at 93

1. Who was Kurt Gottfried?

Kurt Gottfried was a renowned theoretical physicist, author, and co-founder of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). He was born in Vienna, Austria in 1929 and passed away in 2021 at the age of 93.

2. What were Kurt Gottfried's contributions to the field of physics?

Kurt Gottfried made significant contributions to the field of theoretical physics, particularly in the areas of particle physics and quantum field theory. He also played a key role in developing the Standard Model of particle physics and was a strong advocate for arms control and nuclear non-proliferation.

3. What is the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and how was Kurt Gottfried involved?

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a non-profit organization that aims to use science to solve global issues such as climate change, nuclear weapons, and sustainable energy. Kurt Gottfried was one of the co-founders of UCS in 1969 and served as its chair for many years.

4. What other accomplishments did Kurt Gottfried have outside of his scientific career?

In addition to his contributions to physics and his involvement with UCS, Kurt Gottfried was also a prolific author. He wrote numerous books and articles on topics such as nuclear disarmament, arms control, and the role of science in society.

5. How did Kurt Gottfried's passing impact the scientific community?

Kurt Gottfried's passing was deeply felt by the scientific community, as he was a highly respected and influential figure in the field of physics. Many colleagues and students have paid tribute to his brilliant mind, dedication to social justice, and unwavering commitment to using science for the betterment of society.

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