Steven Weinberg’s Legacy

Dr. Steven Weinberg stood among the towering minds of theoretical physics in the 20th century. Through his seminal contributions to the standard model of particle physics and prolific writing, he transformed humanity’s understanding of the origin and nature of the universe. Dr. Weinberg elevated the leadership in physics at the University of Texas at Austin and set the stage for future generations’ advances in fields ranging from astronomy to quantum mechanics.

In 1982, Dr. Weinberg was recruited from Harvard to The University of Texas at Austin Department of Physics to hold the Jack S. Josey-Welch Foundation Chair in Science. Upon his arrival in Texas, Dr. Weinberg began building a theory group that quickly made influential contributions in the field and earned a reputation of excellence worldwide. Thanks to his leadership, and that of Cécile DeWitt-Morette, Bryce DeWitt, John Archibald Wheeler, George Sudarshan and others, the ninth floor of UT Austin’s Physics, Math and Astronomy Building became a thriving intellectual hub and destination for eminent physicists. 

One of the 20th century’s greatest physicists, Dr. Weinberg authored several seminal works on the Standard Model of Particle Physics, including To Explain The World, The First Three Minutes, Dreams of a Final Theory, Facing Up, and Lake Views, as well as leading treatises on theoretical physics.

Over four decades, Dr. Weinberg and colleagues trained generations of theoretical physicists at UT Austin, many of whom are now professors at premier universities and leaders in finance and technology. 

To commemorate his life, work and significant contributions to the depth of human knowledge, UT Austin established The Weinberg Institute for Theoretical Physics. The institute supports future breakthroughs in physics by supporting the work of talented graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, and by attracting scientists to the university to continue Dr. Weinberg’s legacy.

See a timeline of key events in UT Physics