Martinus Veltman, the Electroweak Theory,
and Elementary Particle Physics

Resources with Additional Information

Martinus Veltman
University of Michigan

Martinus J.G. Veltman, the John D. MacArthur Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Michigan, was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in physics "for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics".

‘Veltman shares [the] Nobel Prize in physics with his former graduate student, Gerardus ‘t Hooft, who is now a professor of physics at the University of Utrecht. They received the prize for work done in the 1960s and 1970s that made it possible for physicists to mathematically predict properties of the sub-atomic particles that make up all matter in the universe and the forces that hold these particles together.

Veltman's work was vital to the 1995 discovery of the top quark, which was observed for the first time during experiments conducted at the FermiLab particle accelerator near Chicago, Ill. Physics Prof. Homer A. Neal was one of several U-M faculty members who participated in experiments at FermiLab that confirmed the existence of the top quark.

"Without Veltman's and ‘t Hooft's work, discovery of the top quark would have been impossible," Neal said. "While the concepts behind the Standard Model—the theory that describes the elementary particles and forces in the universe—were well-known in the physics community, their work gave us a way to apply the theory to real-world events. It was of monumental importance to advances of modern physics.

- Edited excerpts from A Grand Prize: Veltman Shares Nobel Prize in Physics: Princeton Physicist to Focus on Science and Mathematics Education


Resources with Additional Information

Additional information about Martinus J.G. Veltman and his research is available in full-text and on the Web.


Divergence Conditions and Sum Rules; Physical Review Letters, Vol. 17, Issue 10: 553–556, September 1966

Some Comments on the Decays of eta (550); DOE Technical Report, July 1996; Physical Review, Vol. 154, Issue 5: 1469–1474, February 1967

Perturbation Theory of Massive Yang–Mills Fields, DOE Technical Report, August 1968

Nobel Lecture: From Weak Interactions to Gravitation; Review of Modern Physics, Vol. 72, Issue 2: 341–349, April 2000


Additional Web Pages:

Nobel Lecture, December 8, 1999, (video)

Interview with Martinus J. G. Veltman, December 1999, (video)

Nobel '99 A Strong Vote for Electroweak Theory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL)

Martinus Veltman Interview, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation

"Hiding Infinities", created 2000-01-25 © CERN (video)

Martinus J.F. Veltman:  Electroweak Interactions (video)

A Visit to the Particle Zoo – a review by ‘American Scientist Online' of Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics by Veltman. This book "provides a comprehensive overview of modern particle physics for a general audience".


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