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The 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to David Gross, David Politzer, and Frank Wilczek "for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction". This talk will review, at a popular level, how quarks, interacting with gluons, give rise to the currently accepted theory of the strong interaction, and explain what asymptotic freedom is and why it is important.
Alan Chodos received his PhD in theoretical physics from Cornell in 1970. He was a postdoc at UPenn from 1970 to 1973. and at MIT from 1973 to I 976. During this latter period, he attended one of the first talks given by Pulitzer on his discovery of asymptotic freedom. Chodos subsequently spent the years 1976-2000 doing research and teaching at Yale, and has been Associate Executive Officer at APS since 2000. Among his research interests are theories in higher dimensions of space-time, a topic on which he has previously addressed the APS seniors group.