Professor Dr. Abdus Salam

1926 - 1996

A brief introduction

Professor Abdus Salam was the first Pakistani and the first Muslim scientist to win a Nobel Prize. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979, for his theoretical unification of the two fundamental forces of nature

He was born on Jan 1926 in Jhang (Punjab) in Pakistan. Salam attended the Government College at Lahore and in 1952 he received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge. He returned to Pakistan as a professor of mathematics in 1951–54 and then went back to Cambridge as a lecturer in mathematics. He became professor of theoretical physics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, in 1957

He established the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) at Trieste Italy: a knowledge hub for the scientists around the globe in the area of Physics and mathematics

Founded in 1964 by the late Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, ICTP seeks to accomplish its mandate by providing scientists from developing countries with the continuing education and skills that they need to enjoy long and productive careers. ICTP has been a major force in stemming the scientific brain drain from the developing world.

For further reading, please visit

Quotes by Professor Abdus Salam

"The creation of Physics is the shared heritage of all mankind. East and West, North and South have equally participated in it"

- Abdus Salam

“It is good to recall that three centuries ago, around the year 1660, two of the greatest monuments of modern history were erected, one in the West and one in the East; St. Paul's Cathedral in London and the Taj Mahal in Agra. Between them, the two symbolize, perhaps better than words can describe, the comparative level of architectural technology, the comparative level of craftsmanship and the comparative level of affluence and sophistication the two cultures had attained at that epoch of history. But about the same time there was also created—and this time only in the West—a third monument, a monument still greater in its eventual import for humanity. This was Newton's Principia, published in 1687. Newton's work had no counterpart in the India of the Mughals”

- Abdus Salam

"The Holy Quran enjoins us to reflect on the verities of Allah’s created laws of nature; however, that our generation has been privileged to glimpse a part of His design is a bounty and a grace for which I render thanks with a humble heart"

- Abdus Salam

A brief video showing Professor Abdus Salam receiving the Nobel Prize for Physics on December 10, 1979.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979 was awarded jointly to Sheldon Lee Glashow, Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg "for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current".

The awards won by Professor Abdus Salam:

  • Nobel Prize in Physics (Stockholm, Sweden) (1979)
  • Hopkins Prize (Cambridge University) for "the most outstanding contribution to Physics during 1957–1958"
  • Adams Prize (Cambridge University) (1958)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (1959)
  • Smith's Prize (Cambridge University) (1950)
  • Sitara-e-Pakistan for contribution to science in Pakistan (1959)
  • Pride of Performance Medal and Award (1959)
  • First recipient of Maxwell Medal and Award (Physical Society, London) (1961)
  • Hughes Medal (Royal Society, London) (1964)
  • Atoms for Peace Award (Atoms for Peace Foundation) (1968)
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize and Medal (University of Miami) (1971)
  • Guthrie Medal and Prize (1976)
  • Sir Devaprasad Sarvadhikary Gold Medal (Calcutta University) (1977)
  • Matteuci Medal (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome) (1978)
  • John Torrence Tate Medal (American Institute of Physics) (1978)
  • Royal Medal (Royal Society, London) (1978)
  • Nishan-e-Imtiaz for outstanding performance in Scientific projects in Pakistan (1979)
  • Einstein Medal (UNESCO, Paris) (1979)
  • Shri R.D. Birla Award (India Physics Association) (1979)
  • Order of Andres Bello (Venezuela) (1980)
  • Order of Istiqlal (Jordan) (1980)
  • Cavaliere de Gran Croce dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (1980)
  • Josef Stefan Medal (Josef Stefan Institute, Ljublijana) (1980)
  • Gold Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Physics (Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague) (1981)
  • Peace Medal (Charles University, Prague) (1981)
  • Lomonosov Gold Medal (USSR Academy of Sciences) (1983)
  • Premio Umberto Biancamano (Italy) (1986)
  • Dayemi International Peace Award (Bangladesh) (1986)
  • First Edinburgh Medal and Prize (Scotland) (1988)
  • "Genoa" International Development of Peoples Prize (Italy) (1988)
  • Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1989)
  • Catalunya International Prize (Spain) (1990)
  • Copley Medal (Royal Society, London) (1990)