Gerald Guralnik, a senior physicist at Brown University, died on Saturday: PBS. Along with Carl Hagen and Tom Kibble, he wrote one of the 1964 papers that introduced the Englert-Brout-Higgs-Guralnik-Hagen-Kibble mechanism, or the Higgs mechanism for short, into particle physics.
I was giving a talk at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island in March 2002 (on the bus, it's 50 minutes from Boston, if I am not mistaken) and I believe that he came to the talk but it's a long time ago and I don't remember for certain.
Guralnik wrote some other other well-known papers about QCD, hadrons, pions, glueballs, and transitions. As you know, the theoretical God particle Nobel prize went to Englert and Higgs only. Another pioneer of the God mechanism, Robert Brout, died in 2011.
Guralnik was also one of the early enthusiastic supporters of numerical approaches to quantum field theory.
The paper on the God mechanism – which remained the only renowned paper that he has co-authored – seems extremely conservative and straightforward today. We have already gotten used to this kind of quantum field theories. Non-Abelian gauge theories belong to what we consider the "most generic" quantum field theories today and a spontaneously broken gauge symmetry is one of the "most frequent" fates that a gauge symmetry may undergo.
A six-minute CERN interview with Guralnik from July 3rd, 2012: hours before the Higgs boson discovery was announced (Guralnik was present in the audience).
But even such ideas used to be controversial among some people, including the most achieved ones. In one of his essays, Guralnik wrote that Werner Heisenberg (and Robert Marshak) told Guralnik that this kind of work (breaking of gauge symmetries) were "junk" and Guralnik should have switched to something else if he had wanted to survive in the Academia. You may watch a one-hour 2013 talk by Guralnik about heresies in physics. Well, Heisenberg and Marshak were wrong.
RIP Prof Guralnik.