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Gerard 't Hooft is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands. He has taught at Harvard, SLAC and Caltech prior to his present position. He was co-winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics. His other distinguished honors include the Dannie Heineman Prize, the Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Chicago, the Wolf Prize of the State of Israel, the Pius XI Medal (Vatican), and the Lorentz Medal (KNAW, Amsterdam).

His most recent book published by World Scientific is 50 Years of Yang-Mills Theory.

Atoms and Universes
Unifying Small and Big in the World Year of Physics 2005

Fifty years ago, Chen-Ning Yang and Robert Mills imagined a new kind of force that could affect the particles inside an atomic nucleus. Their force would be a generalization of the notions of electricity and magnetism.

In those days, however, experimental observations seemed to give a quite different picture, and the relevance of the "Yang-Mills fields" remained obscure. Now, we know that the effects of these fields are quite different from what was thought, and that indeed practically all sub-atomic forces are exactly of the Yang-Mills form. The physical phenomena caused by these forces are rich in structure, and the last 50 years has brought us a lot of understanding.


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Updated on 10 July 2012