Sulamith Goldhaber

Sulamith Löw Goldhaber’s pioneering work with particle accelerators put her at the forefront of a seismic shift in the research of particle physics. Goldhaber met her husband, Gerson Goldhaber, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the pair earned their PhDs in physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1951. Known as one of the best teams for studying nuclear emulsion technology, they pressed to use the Bevatron at Berkeley, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, as often as possible, making vital early discoveries about the interactions of K- mesons and protons. Goldhaber’s presentation on heavy mesons and hyperons at the 1956 Rochester Conference marked an important shift in studying strange particles: before, most of the major discoveries came from physicists studying cosmic rays, but now particle accelerators offered more possibilities for observation and experimentation. In the early 1960s, she switched from nuclear emulsions to the newly discovered bubble chambers (filled with superheated liquids to track particles) and quickly became an expert in the field, making vital discoveries about resonant states of mesons. After her sudden death in 1965, Tel Aviv University began an annual memorial lecture in her name.

Topics: Physics, Technology

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Sulamith Goldhaber sits at her desk, October 18, 1963.
Courtesy of Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Sulamith Goldhaber." (Viewed on October 30, 2020) <>.


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