Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Stephen Wolfram

wikipedia |  As a young child, Wolfram initially struggled in school and had difficulties learning arithmetic.[28] At the age of 12, he wrote a dictionary on physics.[29] By 13 or 14, he had written three books on particle physics.[30][31][32] They have not been published.

Particle physics 
Wolfram was a wunderkind. By age 15, he began research in applied quantum field theory and particle physics and published scientific papers. Topics included matter creation and annihilation, the fundamental interactions, elementary particles and their currents, hadronic and leptonic physics, and the parton model, published in professional peer-reviewed scientific journals including Nuclear Physics B, Australian Journal of Physics, Nuovo Cimento, and Physical Review D.[33] Working independently, Wolfram published a widely cited paper on heavy quark production at age 18[2] and nine other papers,[18] and continued research and to publish on particle physics into his early twenties. Wolfram's work with Geoffrey C. Fox on the theory of the strong interaction is still used in experimental particle physics.[34]

He was educated at Eton College, but left prematurely in 1976.[35] He entered St. John's College, Oxford at age 17 but found lectures "awful",[18] and left in 1978[36] without graduating[37][38] to attend the California Institute of Technology, the following year, where he received a PhD[39] in particle physics on November 19, 1979 at age 20.[40] Wolfram's thesis committee was composed of Richard Feynman, Peter Goldreich, Frank J. Sciulli and Steven Frautschi, and chaired by Richard D. Field.[40][41]

A 1981 letter from Feynman to Gerald Freund giving reference for Wolfram for the MacArthur grant appears in Feynman's collective letters, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track. Following his PhD, Wolfram joined the faculty at Caltech and became the youngest recipient[42] of the MacArthur Fellowships in 1981, at age 21.[37]