Politzer (born 31 August 1949) is an American theoretical physicist. He
shared the the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics with David J. Gross and Frank
Wilczek for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in quantum chromodynamics.
Politzer was born in New York City. He graduated from the Bronx High School
of Science in 1966, received his bachelor's degree from the University
of Michigan in 1969, and his Ph.D. in 1974 from Harvard University, where
his graduate advisor was Sidney Coleman. In his first published article,
which appeared in 1973, Politzer described the phenomenon of asymptotic
freedom: the closer quarks are to each other, the weaker the strong interaction,
given by the color charge, will be between them. When quarks are in extreme
proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave
almost like free particles. This result -- independently discovered at
around the same time by David Gross and Frank Wilczek at Princeton University
-- was extremely important in the development of quantum chromodynamics,
the theory of the strong nuclear interactions.
from Harvard, Politzer moved to the California Institute of Technology
(Caltech), where he is currently professor of theoretical physics. In
1989 he appeared in a minor role as Manhattan Project physicist Robert
Serber in the movie Fat Man and Little Boy, which starred Paul Newman
as General Leslie Groves.