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Maurice Goldhaber (born April 18, 1911) is an American physicist, who in 1957 (with Lee Grodzins and Andrew Sunyar) established that neutrinos have negative helicity.

He was born in Lemberg, Austria. In 1934, working at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England he and James Chadwick, through what they called the nuclear photo-electric effect, established that the neutron has a great enough mass over the proton to decay. In the 1940's with his wife Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber he established that beta particles are identical to electrons. With Edward Teller he proposed that the so-called "giant-dipole nuclear resonance" was due to the neutrons in a nucleus vibrating as a group against the protons as a group (Goldhaber-Teller model).

He made a well-known bet with Hartland Snyder in about 1955 that anti-protons could not exist; when he lost the bet, he speculated that the reason anti-matter does not appear to be abundant in the universe is that before the Big Bang, a single particle, the "universon" existed that then decayed into "cosmon" and "anti-cosmon," and that the cosmon subsequently decayed to produce the known cosmos. In the 1950's also he speculated that all fermions such as electrons, protons and neutrons are "doubled," that is that each is associated with a similar heavier particle. He also speculated that in what became known as the Goldhaber-Christie model, the so-called strange particles were composites of just 3 basic particles. He was Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory from 1961 to 1973.

Among his many other awards, he won the National Medal of Science in 1985, the Wolf Prize in 1991, the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize in 1992, and the Fermi Award in 1998.

Maurice Goldhaber's brother Gerson Goldhaber is a professor of physics at Berkeley; his son Alfred Scharff Goldhaber is a professor of physics at SUNY Stony Brook; his grandson (son of Alfred) David Goldhaber-Gordon is a professor of physics at Stanford.

Literature

* G. Feinberg, A.W. Sunyar, J. Weneser, A Festschrift for Maurice Goldhaber,New York Academy of Sciences (1993), ISBN 0897660862

Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics

Links

* BNL celebrates Goldhaber's 90th year

* Description of Goldhaber's spinning neutrino experiment

* Biography of Maurice Goldhaber at Fermi Award website

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