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Marcos Moshinsky

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Title: Marcos Moshinsky  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Translation/archive, J. Javier Sanchez Mondragon, Peter Kramer (physicist), Mexican physicists, Wigner Medal
Collection: 1921 Births, 2009 Deaths, Mathematical Physicists, Members of El Colegio Nacional, Members of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Members of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Mexican Jews, Mexican People of Ukrainian-Jewish Descent, Mexican Physicists, National Autonomous University of Mexico Alumni, National Autonomous University of Mexico Faculty, Particle Physicists, People from Kiev, People from Mexico City, Soviet Emigrants to Mexico, Ukrainian Emigrants to Mexico, Ukrainian Jews, Unesco Science Prize Laureates
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Marcos Moshinsky

Marcos Moshinsky
Born (1921-04-20)April 20, 1921
Kiev, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Died 1 April 2009(2009-04-01) (aged 87)
Mexico City, Mexico
Residence Mexico City
Nationality Mexican
Fields Elementary particles
Institutions National Autonomous University of Mexico
Alma mater National Autonomous University of Mexico, Princeton University.
Doctoral advisor Eugene Paul Wigner
Known for Transformation parenthesis for harmonic oscillator functions
Notable awards Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific and Technical Investigation (1988)
UNESCO Science Prize (1997)
Wigner Medal (1998)

Marcos Moshinsky Borodiansky (1921–2009) was a Mexican physicist of Ukrainian-Jewish origin whose work in the field of elementary particles won him the Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Investigation in 1988 and the UNESCO Science Prize in 1997.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Early life

He was born in 1921 into a Jewish family in Kiev, Ukraine (which was then part of the Soviet Union). At the age of three, he emigrated as a refugee to Mexico, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1942. He received a bachelor's degree in physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a doctorate in the same discipline at Princeton University under Nobel Laureate Eugene Paul Wigner.


In the 1950s he researched nuclear reactions and the structure of the atomic nucleus, introducing the concept of the transformation parenthesis for functions of harmonic oscillation, which, together with the tables elaborated in collaboration with Thomas A. Brody, simplified calculations in the nucleus layer models and became an indispensable reference for the study of nuclear structures. In 1952, his work on the transient dynamics of matter waves led to the discovery of diffraction in time.

After completing postdoctoral studies at the Henri Poincaré Institute in Paris, France, he returned to Mexico City to serve as a professor at the UNAM. In 1967 he was chosen president of the Mexican Society of Physics and in 1972 he was admitted to the National College. He was the editor of several international scientific reviews, including the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and authored four books and more than 200 technical papers. He received the Mexican National Prize for Science (1968), the Luis Elizondo Prize (1971), the Prince of Asturias Prize for Scientific and Technical Investigation (1988) and the UNESCO Science Prize (1997).

While practising physics, he wrote a weekly column in the newspaper Excélsior on Mexican politics.


This article began as a translation of the corresponding article in the Spanish-language WorldHeritage.

  • M. Moshinsky and Y. F. Smirnov, The harmonic oscillator in modern physics, Informa HealthCare, Amsterdam 1996.
  • M. Moshinsky, Diffraction in time, Phys. Rev. 88, 625 (1952).

External links

  • Profile at the Prince of Asturias Foundation
  • (Spanish) Profile at the National College of Mexico.
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