[Ed. note: In 1979, Sheldon Glashow received the Nobel Prize for physics. But in 1954, he was still a brash and irreverant new graduate student at Harvard. Here, he remembers those heady early days.]

To be perfectly honest, I went to Harvard for graduate school largely because Harvard had admitted me—Princeton University had been more choosy. (Since then, I have rarely had occasion to visit Princeton.) What I knew of the place was simply this: 1) It had a snotty reputation. 2) The undergraduates threw great parties. 3) Harvard was near Boston, not quite New York but a lot more of a city than Ithaca, where I had been an undergraduate at Cornell. Harvard was Julian Schwinger’s stomping grounds, and Schwinger was as godlike to me as Michael Jackson is to my children.

Precocious, brilliant, and chain-smoking, Schwinger was one of the greatest theoretical physicists, a founder of modern quantum...

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