Abdus Salam - A genius and Pride to Pakistan
Written by English NewsPaper/Dawn/Others   

Professor Dr Abdul Salam,the noble laureate in physics, was born on January 29,1926 in Jhang.He propounded his famous unification theory in the mid-sixties when he was hardly 40.

He got the noble prize in 1979 when adequate experimental proof was available to support his theory.

Most Nobel laureates are quoted saying that it is 90 percent perspiration and only 10 percent inspiration that got them the Nobel award.

Professor Abdul Salam happened to be the most hard working of scientists. Trieste, Italy, he used to start his day at 8:30 a.m. and ended it after some 11 or 12 hours with only a short break for lunch. After sleeping for a couple of hours in the night, he often woke up and making his own tea and started working again to go to sleep.

"He has a table laden with books even in his bathroom. He is a workaholic", his friends would say. 'He is a hyper-imaginative person and get many intuitive ideas at the same time", the associates describing Prof Salam had stated.

Salam is one of those who successfully made the first advance towards achieving Einstein's goal : unifying all forces of nature into a single one. Abdus Salam succeeded in unifying two of the four fundamental forces into one.

He was able to prove that the weak nuclear and the electromagnetic force are two manifestations of a single force, the electroweak force.

Two American physicists Steven Weinberg and Sidney Glashow also arrived at the same conclusion independently. All three shared the Nobel prize in physics in 1979.

 

Salam had been associated with science and higher education in Pakistan from the very beginning. He was chief scientific adviser to the President of Pakistan from I961 to 1974. The founder chairman of the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Committee {SUPARCO) 196I-64- member, Pakistan Atomic energy Commission (PAEC) from 1958 to 1974  member,National science Council 1963-1975; member, Board of Pakistan Science Foundation, 1973-77; He was awarded Sitar-e-Pakistan and Pride of Performance medal and award in 1959.

When he came to the Faiz Memorial lecture in Feb 1988, he received  an extremely enthusiastic welcome in Lahore,The audience listened to his words of wisdom with apt attention — to his explanation of our physical universe, its evolution, since in developing countries and in Pakistan.

For him, the difference between the developed world and the developing world was not of wealth but of science and technology.He was a hero, a role model. Salam is one personality that should be held up for our youth to emulate.



Throughout his life. Prof Salam had been driven by the desire to create a better world. He realised very early that the problems of poverty, disease, malnutrition, sanitation, hygiene and of general under-development faced by the developing countries, including Pakistan cannot be solved unless, these countries become literate, acquire scientific knowledge and use it for economic development. He also realized that if he had to make any impact he will have to persuade people and the government in the developing world to understand the importance of science in the economic development. Once he became famous and began to accorded respect and attention, he started using his considerable prestige and authority for the cause of education and science in the developing world.

In 1955, he was appointed scientific secretary to the First International Conference on peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, held in Geneva. Switzerland. This conference brought him in contact with a large number of professionals involved with economic development in various countries of the world including Pakistan.

It was on January 29, 1994, on the 70th birthday of the greatest scientist of Pakistan that the nation came to know that he was not keeping alright for some time.

Dr Salam was never happy living outside Pakistan. "I have always wanted to come back lo Pakistan. I am an old man and I would like to die here", he said in an interview in the summer of 1989,  when signs of his declining health were beginning to show .

According to the interviewer, his biggest regret was "

I have not been able to be of service to my country. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity. Returning to Pakistan has been very important to me and I will give up anything for that

The world fame physicist studies at Government College, Jhang from 1938 to 1942 and then at the Government College, Lahore from 1942 to 1946.

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He remained a professor at Government college Lahore and Head of Mathematics Department, Punjab university till 1954. He was appointed professor of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College, London in 1957. He did the PhD in Theoretical Physics from Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge in 1952.

He was the founder Director of International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste. Prof Salam received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 and he was also awarded honorary doctorates by as many as 36 universities from all over the world for his work in the field of Physics.

The Punjab University conferred honorary doctorate on Prof Salam in 1957 and the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, in 1979.

He had also received 20 international prizes and awards for his outstanding contributions to Physics and had been elected fellow of over 24 academics and societies.



He was elected fellow of Royal Society, London, in 1959. He was awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz Pakistan in 1979, the biggest civilian award of the country.

As a young boy, when Dr Salam sat for the matriculation examination and passed, he received his first taste of the cup of learning. "I  started for home in the afternoon on my bicycle from Maghiana to Jhang city", he recalled in later life.

"The news of my standing first in the examination in the Punjab province had already reached Jhang city. I had to pass through Police Gate district of Jhang city to reach my home in Buland-Darwaza. I distinctly recall that those Hindu merchants who normally would have closed their shops due to the aftenoon heat, were standing outside their shops to pay their homage to me", he said in an interview,

A tribute to the true genius from Maghiana.
 
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