David Gross


David Gross
David Gross LANL.jpg
Gross in October 2007
David Jonathan Gross

(1941-02-19) February 19, 1941 (age 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
EducationHebrew University of Jerusalem (BSc, MSc)
University of California, Berkeley (PhD)
Known forAsymptotic freedom
Heterotic string
Gross–Neveu model
Spouse(s)Shulamith Toaff Gross (divorced)
Jacquelyn Savani
AwardsDirac Medal (1988)
Harvey Prize (2000)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2004)
Scientific career
FieldsQuantum field theory, string theory
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Santa Barbara
Harvard University
Princeton University
Doctoral advisorGeoffrey Chew
Doctoral studentsNatan Andrei
Frank Wilczek
Edward Witten
William E. Caswell
Eric D'Hoker
Rajesh Gopakumar
Nikita Nekrasov
David Gross Clean Autograph.svg

David Jonathan Gross (/ɡrs/; born February 19, 1941) is an American theoretical physicist and string theorist. Along with Frank Wilczek and David Politzer, he was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics[1] for their discovery of asymptotic freedom. Gross is the Chancellor's Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB),[2] and was formerly the KITP director and holder of their Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics.[3] He is also a faculty member in the UCSB Physics Department[4] and is currently affiliated with the Institute for Quantum Studies[5] at Chapman University in California. He is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.[6]

Early life and education

Gross was born to a Jewish family in Washington, D.C., in February 1941. His parents were Nora (Faine) and Bertram Myron Gross (1912–1997). Gross received his bachelor's degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966, under the supervision of Geoffrey Chew.


He was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University (1966-69)[7] and a Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University until 1997, when he began serving as Princeton's Thomas Jones Professor of Mathematical Physics Emeritus.[8] He has received many honors, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1987 and the Dirac Medal in 1988.

In 1973, Professor Gross, working with his first graduate student, Frank Wilczek, at Princeton University, discovered asymptotic freedom—the primary feature of non-Abelian gauge theories—led Gross and Wilczek to the formulation of quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of the strong nuclear force. Asymptotic freedom is a phenomenon where the nuclear force weakens at short distances, which explains why experiments at very high energy can be understood as if nuclear particles are made of non-interacting quarks. The flip side of asymptotic freedom is that the force between quarks grows stronger as one tries to separate them. Therefore, the closer quarks are to each other, the less the strong interaction (or color charge) is between them; when quarks are in extreme proximity, the nuclear force between them is so weak that they behave almost as free particles. This is the reason why the nucleus of an atom can never be broken into its quark constituents.

QCD completed the Standard Model, which details the three basic forces of particle physics—the electromagnetic force, the weak force, and the strong force. Gross was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics, with Politzer and Wilczek, for this discovery.[1]

Gross, with Jeffrey A. Harvey, Emil Martinec, and Ryan Rohm also formulated the theory of the heterotic string. The four were whimsically nicknamed the "Princeton String Quartet."[9] He continues to do research in this field at the KITP.[10]


In 2003, Gross was one of 22 Nobel Laureates who signed the Humanist Manifesto.[11]

Gross is one of the 20 American recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics to sign a letter addressed to President George W. Bush in May 2008, urging him to "reverse the damage done to basic science research in the Fiscal Year 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill" by requesting additional emergency funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.[12]

In 2015, Gross signed the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change on the final day of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The declaration was signed by a total of 76 Nobel Laureates and handed to then-President of the French Republic, François Hollande, as part of the successful COP21 climate summit in Paris.[13]


Gross' first wife was Shulamith (Toaff), and they had two children. He also has a stepdaughter by his second wife, Jacquelyn Savani.[14] He has three brothers, including Samuel R. Gross, professor of law, and Theodore (Teddy) Gross, a playwright.

Honors and awards

Memberships in academies and societies

Selected publications

Journal articles

  • Gross, David; Wilczek, Frank (1973). "Ultraviolet Behavior of Non-Abelian Gauge Theories". Physical Review Letters. 30 (26): 1343–1346. Bibcode:1973PhRvL..30.1343G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.30.1343.
  • D. J. Gross and F. Wilczek, “Asymptotically Free Gauge Theories. I”, Phys. Rev. D8 3633 (1973)

Technical reports


  1. ^ a b c "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2004". NobelPrize.org. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  2. ^ "UC Santa Barbara, David Gross". Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  3. ^ "In Depth: David Gross | The Kavli Foundation". www.kavlifoundation.org. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  4. ^ "People | Department of Physics - UC Santa Barbara". physics.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  5. ^ "Members". www.chapman.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  6. ^ a b "Foreign Members---Academic Divisions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences". english.casad.cas.cn. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  7. ^ "Harvard University. Department of Physics". history.aip.org. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  8. ^ "David Gross | Department of Physics". phy.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  9. ^ String Theory, at 20, Explains It All (or Not). NY Times (2004-12-07)
  10. ^ ORCID. "David Gross (0000-0002-1485-7107)". orcid.org. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  11. ^ "Humanism and Its Aspirations: Notable Signers". American Humanist Association. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  12. ^ "A Letter from America's Physics Nobel Laureates" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Mainau Declaration". www.mainaudeclaration.org. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  14. ^ nobelprize.org
  15. ^ "J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics". www.aps.org. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  16. ^ "David Gross". www.macfound.org. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  17. ^ "ICTP - The Medallists". www.ictp.it. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  18. ^ "Earlier Lectures - Oskar Klein Centre". www.okc.albanova.se. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  19. ^ "Prize Winners – Harvey Prize | פרס הארווי". harveypz.net.technion.ac.il. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  20. ^ "High Energy Particle Physics Board". eps-hepp.web.cern.ch. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  21. ^ "La Grande Médaille 2004 de l'Académie des sciences attribuée au Prix Nobel de physique David J. Gross" (PDF). cademie-sciences.fr. 2004-10-05.
  22. ^ "Nobel honours sub-atomic world". BBC News. 5 October 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  23. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  24. ^ "Welcome to The University of Cambodia (UC)". www.uc.edu.kh. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  25. ^ "Awards - UMD Physics". umdphysics.umd.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  26. ^ "NICA First stone laying ceremony". Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  27. ^ "International kudos". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  28. ^ "Past Fellows", Sloan Research Fellows: Nobel prize winners, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Physics, 1970, retrieved 2021-07-19
  29. ^ "APS Fellow Archive".
  30. ^ "David Jonathan Gross".
  31. ^ "David J. Gross".
  32. ^ "Elected Fellows | American Association for the Advancement of Science". www.aaas.org. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  33. ^ Gross, David (2005). "Honorary Fellow". Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
  34. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  35. ^ David, Gross (2007). "New Fellows, Indian Science Academy" (PDF).
  36. ^ "Gross, David". TWAS. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  37. ^ "Membres - AIPS-AISR-PIIST". www.lesacademies.net (in French). Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  38. ^ "International kudos". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  39. ^ "2019 APS President David Gross". aps.org. Retrieved 2021-01-22.

External links

  • David Gross, on Google Scholar
  • David J. Gross, Nobel Prize in Physics 2004 - includes Nobel Lecture, December 8, 2004, "The Discovery of Asymptotic Freedom and the Emergence of QCD"
  • Nobel honours sub-atomic world, BBC, October 5, 2004
  • ArXiv papers
  • David J. Gross bio, American Institute of Physics
  • Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP), University of California, Santa Barbara