Dr Abdus Salam’s Nobel diploma sits proudly at GCU

Document was gifted by a professor of Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy

Rana Tanveer January 27, 2017
Dr Abdus Salam’s diploma on display at GCU. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: The diploma which Dr Abdus Salam received with his Nobel Prize in 1979 proudly sits at the Government College University Lahore.

The historic document was gifted to the university by Professor Dr Katepalli R Steenivasan, the then director of Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Italy, says GCU Salam Chair Professor Dr G Murtaza.

While talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Murtaza says Dr Steenivasan had visited the GCU and gifted it during that time. He adds it is an honor for the varsity to house a diploma of this magnitude.

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He recalls Umar Salam, son of Dr Abdus Salam, and his mother visited GCU on January 22, 2003 on an invitation from the university. He says a ceremony was held at the Salam Hall, also named after the Nobel Prize winner. He remembers different speakers appreciated the services of the scientist on the occasion.

Dr Abdus Salam was born on January 29, 1929 in Jhang. He is considered a major figure in 20th century theoretical physics. 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 and the second person from an Islamic country to receive a Nobel Prize after Anwar Sadat of Egypt.

According to Dr Murtaza, Dr Salam did his matriculation at the age of 14 and made history by scoring the highest marks ever recorded in the examination of the Punjab University. He said in 1942, after doing his FSc from Jhang, Salam came to GCU Lahore.

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In 1944, Salam took the BA examination with mathematics, English and Urdu as his subjects and broke all records by a considerable margin.

He completed his Masters in Mathematics in 1946 by scoring 100%. He says after the scientist went to Cambridge, where he did his PhD, he returned to Pakistan and joined GCU as a professor of mathematics.

He continues that Salam, at the age of 38, became a director of ICTP in 1964 and that is where he established himself. For his contribution, Salam also got the Atoms for Peace medal and award, he states.

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Dr Murtaza informs The Express Tribune that Salam became a fellow/member of more than 30 academies/societies of the world and was awarded by more than 40 universities across the globe. He died on 21 November 1996 at the age of 70 in Oxford, England. His body was brought to Pakistan and is buried in Chenab Nagar where his parents and wife lay to rest.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2017.


Abdullah Gill | 5 years ago | Reply Marvellous article describing a history forgotten
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