- Sidney Coleman
name = Sidney Coleman
birth_date = birth date|1937|3|7
death_date = death date|2007|11|18
nationality = American
Illinois Institute of Technology Caltech
doctoral_students = Ian Affleck
Jacques Distler David Griffiths
Stephen Parke Leonard Parker David Politzer
Lee Smolin Paul Steinhardt
Quantum field theory
societies = fellow of National Academy of Sciences
fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
prizes = Dirac Medal
Dannie Heineman Prize
Sidney Richard Coleman (
7 March 1937– 18 November 2007) was an eminent theoretical physicist who studied under Murray Gell-Mann.
Life and work
Sidney Coleman grew up on the Far North Side of
Chicago. In 1957, he got his undergraduate degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
He received his PhD from
Caltechin 1962, and moved to Harvard Universitythat year, where he spent his entire career, meeting his wife Diana there in the late 1970s. They were married in 1982.
"He was a giant in a peculiar sense, because he's not known to the general populace," Nobel laureate
Sheldon Glashowtold the Boston Globe. "He's not a Stephen Hawking; he has virtually no visibility outside. But within the community of theoretical physicists, he's kind of a major god. He is the physicist's physicist." [http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/obituaries/articles/2008/01/20/sidney_coleman_harvard_icon_taught_physics_classes_with_wit/]
Antonino Zichichirecruited Coleman as a lecturer at the then-new summer school at International School for Subnuclear Physics in Erice, Sicily. A legendary figure at the school throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Coleman was awarded the title "Best Lecturer" on the occasion of the school's fifteenth anniversary (1979). His explanation of spontaneous symmetry breakingin terms of a little man living inside a ferromagnet has often been cited by later popularizers. [http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/0305-4470/38/44/B01] [http://www.science.uva.nl/~seop/entries/symmetry-breaking/] The classic particle physics text "Aspects of Symmetry" (1985) is a collection of Coleman's lectures at Erice.
His lectures at Harvard were also legendary. Students in one quantum field theory course created Tshirts bearing his image and a collection of his more noted quotations, among them: "Not only God knows, I know, and by the end of the semester, you will know."
In 1989, he won the US National Academy of Sciences Award for Excellence in Scientific Reviewing. That award praised his "lucid, insightful, and influential reviews on partially conserved currents, gauge theories, instantons, and magnetic monopoles--subjects fundamental to theoretical physics." [https://winfe.physics.ox.ac.uk/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/essays/v12p117y1989.pdf]
In 2005, Harvard University's physics department held the "SidneyFest", a conference on quantum field theory and quantum chromodynamics, organized in his honor. [http://www.physics.harvard.edu/QFT/]
Contributions to physics
Some of his best known works are
Coleman-Mandula theorem[cite journal | author=Sidney Coleman and Jeffrey Mandula | title=All Possible Symmetries of the S Matrix | journal=Phys. Rev. | year=1967 | volume=159 | pages=1251–1256 | url=http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PR/v159/i5/p1251_1 | doi=10.1103/PhysRev.159.1251 ]
Coleman theorem[Sidney Coleman: "There are no Goldstone bosons in two dimensions", [http://projecteuclid.org/Dienst/UI/1.0/Summarize/euclid.cmp/1103859034 Commun. Math. Phys. 31, 259 (1973)] ]
Equivalenceof the Thirring modeland the quantum Sine-Gordon equation[ [http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v11/i8/p2088_1 Phys. Rev. D 11 (1975): Sidney Coleman - Quantum sine-Gordon equation as ] ]
Semiclassicalanalysis of the fate of a false vacuum
Q-balls in the thin-wall limit
*"Aspects of Symmetry", Sidney Coleman, Cambridge University Press, 1985, ISBN 0-521-31827-0
* [http://www.physics.harvard.edu/QFT/ Sidneyfest 2005] - physicists' celebration of Sidney Coleman's life
* [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-hed_coleman_20nov20,0,7943823.story Chicago Tribune obituary] , November 20, 2007.
* [http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/11.29/15-coleman.html Harvard Gazette obituary] , November 29, 2007.
* [http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/obituaries/articles/2008/01/20/sidney_coleman_harvard_icon_taught_physics_classes_with_wit/ Boston Globe obituary] , January 20, 2008.
* [http://ptonline.aip.org/journals/doc/PHTOAD-ft/vol_61/iss_5/69_1.shtml Physics Today obituary] , May 2008, written by
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4674461198051839963&hl=en "Quantum Mechanics In Your Face"] , A lecture by Prof. Coleman at the New England sectional meeting of the American Physical Society April 9, 1994.
* [http://www.physics.harvard.edu/about/Phys253.html Physics 253: Quantum Field Theory] . Video of lectures by Sidney Coleman at Harvard in 1975-1976.
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Coleman-Mandula theorem — The Coleman Mandula theorem, named after Sidney Coleman and Jeffrey Mandula, is a no go theorem in theoretical physics. It states that the only conserved quantities in a realistic theory with a mass gap, apart from the generators of the Poincaré… … Wikipedia