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Martinus Veltman (1931 – 2021)

Martinus Veltman (1931 – 2021)
(Image: CERN)

Martinus “Tini” Veltman, who shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics with his former student Gerardus ‘t Hooft, passed away on 4 January at the age of 89.

A regular visitor to CERN since the early 1960s, Veltman served on the Scientific Policy Committee from 1976 to 1982, where he was a staunch supporter of the CERN model for intergovernmental research, contributing much to the scientific direction of the Laboratory.

It is through his contributions to the Standard Model, our current description of elementary particles and their interactions, that he had the most profound influence on the research of CERN. His 1970s work with ’t Hooft on the renormalisation of spontaneously broken Yang-Mills theories is a cornerstone of the Standard Model. Their work provided decisive support to the Weinberg-Salam theory as a realistic description of weak and electromagnetic interactions, with the inclusion of a new particle: a particle whose existence had been anticipated several years before, and that is now commonly known as the Higgs boson.

With his departure, we have lost one of the founding fathers of modern particle physics.

Full obituaries will appear at a later stage in the CERN Bulletin and the CERN Courier.