Remembering Pakistan’s first Nobel Laureate Dr Abdus Salam on his 20th Death Anniversary

Abdus Salam,(29 January 1926 – 21 November 1996) Pakistan’s first and only theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate is remembered on his death anniversary. A young boy from a village near Jhang in rural Pakistan became a big name for physics and an inspiration for all. 

His life in a nutshell: At sixteen Abdus Salam had his first national scientific publication in which he simplified theorems of the legendary mathematician, Ramanujan. By his late twenties, Salam had made his mark in the world of physics and at the age of 31 he just missed being awarded a Nobel Prize.

At the age of 33, he became a fellow of the Royal Society London and the first Pakistani to achieve that distinction. At the age of 38, he was appointed as the director of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. At 53, Salam was awarded the Nobel Prize for unifying two of the four fundamental forces of nature, a groundbreaking achievement that fulfilled Einstein’s dream of unity. Salam is ranked as one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century.

Aside from the endless list of awards and honours which he received, some of his services include working as the science advisor for President Ayub Khan to set the infrastructure of science in Pakistan. Salam advised him to acquire Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP) – the first commercial nuclear reactor of Pakistan. He served as a founding director of Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), worked for the establishment of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and The Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology. He also mentored the scientist who designed the atomic bomb for Pakistan.

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