Steinberger, Jack (1921-) is a German-born American whose work has focused on high-energy particle physics. He shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in physics with Melvin Schwartz and Leon Max Lederman for their discovery of the muon-neutrino, a new type of neutrino.
Steinberger came to the United States in 1934, through a program to place refugee Jewish children in American homes, and lived with a family in Chicago until the rest of his own family was able to immigrate as well. He earned a degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1942 and then was sent to the MIT Radiation Laboratory as part of his service in the Army. He received his Ph.D. degree in physics in 1948.
He, Schwartz, and Lederman succeeding in isolating neutrinos using the Brookhaven particle accelerator to create a high-sensitivity beam of neutrinos, thus discovering a second type of neutrino, called the muon-neutrino. This pioneering work contributed to the “standard model” classification of matter and opened the door to the use of neutrinos in other important areas of particle physics.
From 1968 to 1986, Steinberger was with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and has since taught at the Scuola Normale in Pisa, Italy.
Aside from his Nobel Prize, his honors include the U.S. National Medal of Science.