David Gross

David Jonathan Gross ( born February 19, 1941 in Washington, DC, USA) is an American physicist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2004.


Gross' father Bertram Myron Gross, a son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, was a Senate employee, the 1946 Employment Act mitentwarf. Gross initially grew up in a suburb of Washington, and then in Jerusalem, where his father taught the mid-1950s on behalf of the U.S. Government at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Public Administration. There, David Gross studied mathematics and physics in 1962 and made his bachelor's degree. He received his doctorate in 1966 at the University of California, Berkeley in physics at Geoffrey Chew over the then flourishing S- matrix theory of elementary particle physics. After that, he was from 1966 to 1969 Junior Fellow at Harvard University, in 1969 a visiting scientist at CERN and in 1969 assistant professor, associate professor and in 1987 Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, where he remained until 1996. From 1996 he was director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is currently Frederick W. Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics.


In 1973, he discovered along with his first doctoral Frank Wilczek, the asymptotic freedom, which states that the strong interactions between quarks is weaker the more, the closer they are to each other. If two quarks are extremely close together, the interaction is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. The derivation of this property, which was carried out independently by David Politzer, an important step in the development of quantum chromodynamics ( QCD) was. From the mid- 1970s he worked with Roger Dashen and Curtis Callan with instantons in QCD and its role in the confinement mechanism of quarks. With André Neveu, he developed the Gross- Neveu model, a simple model of interacting fermions with unitary symmetry in one spatial dimension, where phenomena such as dynamical mass generation can be studied in 1974.

In the 1980s his interest shifted to the string theory, with which he had in the late 1960s and early 1970s, working in collaboration with John Schwarz and André Neveu. 1984 Gross developed together with Jeff Harvey, Emil Martinec, and Ryan Rohm the Heterotic string theory, one of five superstring theories. He also dealt with the high- energy behavior of string and the use of strings in QCD. So he proved in 1988 with Periwal the divergence of the perturbation series of the bosonic string theory.

Awards and prizes

In 2004, Gross, together with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer, a Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction ".

1970 to 1974 he was a Sloan Fellow and 1987 MacArthur Fellow. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 1986 he was awarded the Sakurai Prize of the American Physical Society, 1988, the Dirac Medal ( ICTP ) and 2000, the Oskar Klein Medal from the University of Gothenburg, the Harvey Prize from the Technion in Haifa. In 2003 he received the Prize of the European Physical Society in Physics and 2004, the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Sciences. In 2000 he became an honorary doctorate from the University of Montpellier and 2001, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He was married twice and has two children from his first marriage. His daughter Ariela Gross is a law professor at the University of Southern California. He is married to Jacquelyn Savani since 2001.

His students include Edward Witten and Frank Wilczek.