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Nobel Laureate Melvin Schwartz Died August 28

Melvin Schwartz, co-winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics, died on August 28, in Twin Falls, Idaho, after a long struggle with Parkinsonís disease.

Photo of Melvin SchwartzIn 1962, Schwartz, with Leon Lederman and Jack Steinberger, at the time all of Columbia University, discovered the muon neutrino at Brookhaven Labís then brand-new accelerator, the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

A native of the Bronx and a member of the Bronx High School of Science class of 1949, Schwartz earned both his A.B. and his Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University, in 1953 and 1958, respectively.

First coming to Brookhaven in 1955, Schwartz performed his Ph.D. thesis research through 1956 at the Laboratoryís first accelerator, the Cosmotron. While finishing his thesis, he was employed by the Laboratory from 1956-58.

Returning to Columbia University, Schwartz continued to do research at Brookhaven, working at the AGS from 1958-63. After relocating to Stanford University in 1966, he maintained his research ties with Brookhaven.

In 1970, Schwartz founded a major computer-security company, Digital Pathways, Inc., in Mountain View, California. In 1991, he returned to Brookhaven Lab, where he became Associate Director for High Energy and Nuclear Physics. He left that position in 1994 to return to Columbia University.

Melvin Schwartz was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He received the Hughes Prize from the APS in 1964.

Last Modified: January 31, 2008