Frank Wilczek

Frank Anthony Wilczek ( born May 15, 1951 in Queens, New York City ) is an American physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics 2004.


The son of an Italian mother and a Polish father was in his native Queens to school. In 1970 he received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago, 1972 Master of Arts in Mathematics and in 1974 the Ph.D. in physics at Princeton University. From 1974 to 1981 and from 1989 to 2000 he was a professor at Princeton University, interrupted by a research activity 1976/77 at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton also. From 1980 to 1988, Wilczek professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Since 2000 he is Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Achievements and awards

1973, during his time as a doctoral student at Princeton, he discovered along with David Gross, 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. This theory, which was discovered independently by David Politzer, an important step in the development of quantum chromodynamics was.

He introduced the Axion and later dealt intensively with other anyons.

In 1982 he was MacArthur Fellow. 1994 Wilczek was awarded the Dirac Medal ( ICTP ), in 2003 with the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society, and in 2004 he got together with David Gross and David Politzer the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. In 2005 he received the King Faisal Prize, the 2003 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize of the EPS and 2008 the Julius Wess Award at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. In 2013 he was awarded the Oskar Klein Medal.

  • Frank Wilczek: Fantastic realities: 49 mind journeys and a trip to Stockholm; with a contrib. from Betsy Devine. - Singapore: World Scientific, 2006 - ISBN 981-256-649- X
  • Frank Wilczek and Betsy Devine: Longing for the harmonies: themes and variations from modern physics - New York Norton 1988 - ISBN 0-393-02482-2