Several Jews are among the winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes. Joseph Rotblat, a British physicist and founder of the anti-nuclear group the Pugwash Conference, was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Rotblat, a native of Poland, participated in the Manhattan Project to build the world’s first atomic bomb in the United States, but he left the project when he reportedly learned that its goal was to subdue the Soviet Union, not deter Nazi Germany. Rotblat was the only scientist to quite the project.
Although Roblat was born Jewish, he does not see himself as a member of any religion, he told the London Jewish Chronicle.
Two other Jewish scientists, based in California, were named co-winners of the Nobel Prize in physics.
Frederick Reines, of the University of California at Irvine, was selected for his discovery in the 1950s of neutrinos, subatomic particles that are among the basic building blocks of nature.
Reines is sharing the $1 million Nobel Prize money with co-winner Martin Perl of Stanford University.
Perl was recognized for his discovery of the tau lepton, another subatomic particle. The tau lepton is crucial to current theories of how nature’s smallest particles behave.