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The First Muslim Nobel Prize Winner in Science

Do you know Mohammad Abdus Salam, the first Muslim to win a Nobel Prize in science? Would you like to know more about his achievements and contributions to science? Then don’t miss this episode of Nameables.


More Facts about the First Muslim Who Won a Noble Prize in Science

Seeking knowledge and science is strongly promoted in Islam. Quran, the holy book of Islam, repeatedly asks humans to think and seek knowledge and science. Since the advent of Islam, Muslims have made great contributions to science. There have been so many famous Muslim scientists in history especially in the Islamic Golden Age.

Although scientific growth in the Islamic world has witnessed a sharp decline since the Golden Age but it does not mean science has lost its value in among Muslims. There are still great Muslim scientists who make outstanding contributions to science.

Who is the First Muslim Nobel Winner in Science?

Muslim scientist Mohammad Abdus Salam was a Pakistani theoretical physicist who was born on January 29, 1926 in Santokdas, Punjab, Pakistan. Abdus Salam was born to Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain and Hajira Hussain, into a Punjabi Muslim family. Abdus attended school in the town of Jhang. From an early age, he showed enormous talent in mathematics and science.

At age 14, he amazed the people of Jhang when he achieved the highest marks ever seen in Punjab University’s entrance examination. Nearly the whole town turned out to celebrate his achievement. Not surprisingly, he was given a university scholarship. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Mathematics in 1946, age 20.

What were Abdus Salam achievements? What did Abdus Salam discover?

He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory. He was the first Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize in science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize. Salam was science advisor to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Pakistan from 1960 to 1974, a position from which he was supposed to play a major and influential role in the development of the country’s science infrastructure.

Salam contributed to developments in theoretical and particle physics. He was the founding director of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and responsible for the establishment of the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) in the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). Salam’s notable achievements include the Pati–Salam model, magnetic photon, vector meson, Grand Unified Theory, work on supersymmetry and, most importantly, electroweak theory, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize.

Salam made a major contribution in quantum field theory and in the advancement of Mathematics at Imperial College London. With his student, Riazuddin, Salam made important contributions to the modern theory on neutrinos, neutron stars and black holes, as well as the work on modernising the quantum mechanics and quantum field theory.

As a teacher and science promoter, Salam is remembered as a founder and scientific father of mathematical and theoretical physics in Pakistan during his term as the chief scientific advisor to the president. Salam heavily contributed to the rise of Pakistani physics to the physics community in the world. Even until shortly before his death, Salam continued to contribute to physics, and to advocate for the development of science in Third-World countries.

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