From time immemorial, man has desired to comprehend the complexity of nature in terms of as few elementary concepts as possible
~Dr. M. Abdus Salam
The history of mankind is full of people Among them are the living miracles, the not-so-normal people in this normal world; people who, although, looked like any other normal human being, yet were born with extraordinary capabilities. Each one of these extraordinary people is or was an expert in their own field. Take the example of Jabir Bin Hayan; the father of Chemistry, Michael Jackson; the King of pop music, Quaid-e-Azam Mohmmed Ali Jinnah; the best statesman of his time or Shakespeare; the legendary writer. Mohmmed Abdus Salam Azad, the first Theoretical Physicist of Pakistan was one of these extraordinary people; the not-so-normal kind of people.
He was one of those special people who made Pakistan proud. Abdus Salam was a physicist; theoretical Physicist, to be exact. Born on January 29th, 1926, he completed his matriculation from the Punjab University at the age of 14 and scored the highest grades in the entire history of the university. He was an extraordinary child with amazing capabilities right from the start. He got his PhD degree in theoretical Physics from Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge with Quantum Electrodynamics being the subject of his doctoral thesis.
Dr. Abdus Salam Azadi became the youngest man to be named in ‘Fellow of the Royal Society’ at the age of only 33 years in 1959. He served as a top level Science Advisor to the Government of Pakistan from 1960 to 1974 and played an important role in the development of the scientific infrastructure of Pakistan. He was not only acting as the founding director of The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) but also helped establish the Theoretical Physics Group in Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).
A number of firsts in the field of physics bear the credit to Dr. Abdus Salam including the introduction of chiral symmetry concept in the neutrino’s theory and predicted the existence of magnetic photons bin 1966.
Speaking of Physics, he once said,
The creation of Physics is the shared heritage of all mankind. East and West, North and South have equally participated in it
He had the privilege to work with a number of internationally recognized physicists and was also nominated for the Physics Nobel Prize back in 1979 which he won. This was, by far, the greatest of his many great achievements. In appreciation to his remarkable talent, he was awarded the Smith’s Award (1950), Adam’s Award (1958) by the Cambridge University and Sitara-e-Pakistan (1959). Being very modest about his achievements he once said,
Soon I knew the craft of experimental physics was beyond me. It was the sublime quality of patience. Patience in accumulating data, patience with recalcitrant equipment which I sadly lacked
This man of sheer brilliance is still known his capacities and worth as a Theoretical Physical on both national and international levels. Sadly he was judged on the basis of his faith and was sentenced to exile. Nobody knows the exact truth behind it because a man of such exceptional caliber can never be ignored this easily. Nevertheless, he will always be the pride of Pakistan and the guiding light for all those who have the desire to reach the skies; the young Physicists in particular.
Contributed By: Tayyaba Seher Khan