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Papers of Nobel Prize winning physicist and Columbia Professor Melvin Schwartz. Includes papers written by Schwartz on various topics related to physics, some notebooks of his studies at Columbia, materials related to his 1988 Nobel Prize ceremony, a few letters received by Schwartz, and a number of journal articles sent to him by colleagues.
Included in the collection is his 1988 Nobel Prize medal in Physics in a red leather case with M. Schwartz gold tooled on front cover of the case; the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics diploma in a MS monogrammed blue leather cover with a MS monogrammed clamshell box; Official letter from the Nobel Prize Committee dated 1988/10/26 announcing the award for the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics to Melvin Schwartz, Leon M. Lederman and Jack Steinberger; and a watercolor by Sven Ljunberg.
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Rare Book and Manuscript Library
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Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Melvin Schwartz Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Processed by David Schwartz and Patrick Lawlor in September 2020.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Melvin Schwartz was a prominent physicist and life-long Columbian. Schwartz won the Nobel Prize in Physics with his Columbia colleagues Jack Steinberger and Leon Lederman (GSAS 1951).
Born in New York City on November 2, 1932, Schwartz attended the Bronx High School of Science before attending Columbia College to study physics. After receiving his B.A., he stayed at Columbia to pursue graduate studies and in 1958 earned a Ph.D. in physics from GSAS. In 1991, he was awarded an honorary Sc.D. by the University.
Schwartz was research scientist at Brookhaven from 1956-1958. In 1958, he became an assistant professor at Columbia, in 1960 an associate professor and in 1963 a full professor. Three years later, Schwartz left Columbia to become a physics professor at Stanford. While California, in 1970, he founded Digital Pathways, a company that made equipment that allowed people to log onto computer networks securely from outside locations, and was its president and CEO.
In 1983, Schwartz left Stanford to work fulltime at Digital Pathways, but in 1991 was persuaded to return to physics by Nicholas Samios (GSAS M.A. 1953, Ph.D. 1957), who was then director of Brookhaven. Returning to New York, Schwartz became associate director of high energy and nuclear physics at Brookhaven, where he oversaw the building of four detectors at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, known as RHIC at Brookhaven. He also returned to teaching at Columbia and in 1994 was appointed I.I. Rabi Professor of Physics.
Schwartz was active in College alumni affairs; he served on the College Board of Visitors from 1989-1992, on the College Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1991-94 and funded the Alumni Host program. He was honored with a John Jay Award for professional achievement in 1989 and the Alexander Hamilton Medal in 1995. Schwartz retired in 2000 and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society.