Murray Gell-Mann

Murray Gell-Mann

Murray Gell-Mann lecturing at TED in 2007
Born September 15, 1929 (1929-09-15) (age 82)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Physics
Institutions Santa Fe Institute
University of New Mexico
University of Southern California
California Institute of Technology
Alma mater Yale University, MIT
Doctoral advisor Victor Weisskopf
Doctoral students

Kenneth G. Wilson
Sidney Coleman


Rod Crewther
James Hartle
Christopher T. Hill
H. Jay Melosh
Barton Zwiebach
Kenneth Young
Todd Brun[1]
Known for Elementary particles
Gell-Mann matrices
Gell-Mann–Nishijima formula
Gell-Mann–Okubo mass formula
Effective complexity
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physics (1969)

Murray Gell-Mann (play /ˈmʌr ˈɡɛl ˈmæn/; born September 15, 1929) is an American physicist and linguist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. He is the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, a Distinguished Fellow and co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico, and the Presidential Professor of Physics and Medicine at the University of Southern California.[2]

He formulated the quark model of hadronic resonances, and identified the SU(3) flavor symmetry of the light quarks, extending isospin to include strangeness, which he also discovered. He developed the V-A theory of the weak interaction in collaboration with Richard Feynman. He created current algebra in the 1960s as a way of extracting predictions from quark models when the fundamental theory was still murky, which led to model-independent sum rules confirmed by experiment.

Gell-Mann, along with Maurice Lévy, developed the sigma model of pions, which describes low energy pion interactions. Modifying the integer-charged quark model of Han and Nambu, Fritzsch and Gell-Mann were the first to write down the modern accepted theory of quantum chromodynamics, although they did not anticipate asymptotic freedom. In 1969 he received the Nobel Prize in physics for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions.[3]

Gell-Mann is responsible for the see-saw theory of neutrino masses, that produces masses at the inverse-GUT scale in any theory with a right-handed neutrino, like the SO(10) model. He is also known to have played a large role in keeping string theory alive through the 1970s and early 1980s, supporting that line of research at a time when it was unpopular.

Contents

Biography

Gell-Mann was born in lower Manhattan into a family of Jewish immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire,[4][5] Gell-Mann quickly revealed himself as a child prodigy. Propelled by an intense boyhood curiosity and love for nature and mathematics, he graduated valedictorian from the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School and subsequently entered Yale at the age of 15 as a member of Jonathan Edwards College.

Gell-Mann's work in the 1950s involved recently discovered cosmic ray particles that came to be called kaons and hyperons. Classifying these particles led him to propose that a quantum number called strangeness would be conserved by the strong and the elementary interactions, but not by the weak interactions. Another of Gell-Mann's ideas is the Gell-Mann-Okubo formula, which was, initially, a formula based on empirical results, but was later explained by the quark model. Gell-Mann and Abraham Pais were involved in explaining many puzzling aspects of the physics of these particles.

In 1961, this led him (and Kazuhiko Nishijima) to introduce a classification scheme for hadrons, elementary particles that participate in the strong interaction. (This scheme was independently proposed by Yuval Ne'eman.) This scheme is now explained by the quark model. Gell-Mann referred to the scheme as the Eightfold Way, because of the octets of particles in the classification. The term is a reference to the eightfold way of Buddhism.

In 1964, Gell-Mann and George Zweig, independently, went on to postulate the existence of quarks, particles of which hadrons are composed. The name was coined by Gell-Mann and is a reference to the novel Finnegans Wake, by James Joyce ("Three quarks for Muster Mark!" book 2, episode 4). Zweig had referred to the particles as "aces",[6] but Gell-Mann's name caught on. Quarks, antiquarks, and gluons were soon accepted as the underlying elementary objects in the study of the structure of hadrons. In 1972 he and Harald Fritzsch introduced the conserved quantum number "color charge", and later along with Heinrich Leutwyler, they introduced quantum chromodynamics (QCD) as the gauge theory of the strong interaction (cf. references). The quark model is a part of QCD, and it has been robust enough to survive the discovery of new "flavors" of quarks.

Gell-Mann and Richard Feynman, working together, along with the independent duo of George Sudarshan and Robert Marshak, were the first to discover the vector and axial vector structures of the weak interaction in physics. This work followed the experimental discovery of the violation of parity by Chien-Shiung Wu, as suggested by Chen Ning Yang and Tsung-Dao Lee, theoretically.

During the 1990s, Gell-Mann's interest turned to the emerging study of complexity. He played a central role in the founding of the Santa Fe Institute, where he continues to work as a Distinguished Professor. He wrote a popular science book about these matters, The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex. The title of the book is taken from a line of a poem by Arthur Sze: "The world of the quark has everything to do with a jaguar circling in the night."

Gell-Mann also is an avid birdwatcher, a collector of antiquities, and a gifted linguist. He notably assisted S.A. Starostin in his reconstruction of the Proto-Human language.

The author George Johnson has written a biography of Gell-Mann, which is titled Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann, and the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics, which Dr. Gell-Mann has criticized as inaccurate.

Timeline

Gell-Mann earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Yale University in 1948, and a PhD in physics from MIT in 1951. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1951, and a visiting research professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign from 1952 to 1953. He was a visiting associate professor at Columbia University and an associate professor at the University of Chicago in 1954-55 before moving to the California Institute of Technology, where he taught from 1955 until he retired in 1993. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics in 1969 for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions.[7]

He is currently the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech as well as a University Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Presidential Professor of Physics and Medicine at the University of Southern California. He is a member of the editorial board of the Encyclopædia Britannica. In 1984 Gell-Mann co-founded the Santa Fe Institute—a non-profit theoretical research institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico—to study complex systems and disseminate the notion of a separate interdisciplinary study of complexity theory.

Personal life

Gell-Mann married Marcia Southwick in 1992, after the death of his first wife, J. Margaret Dow (d. 1981), whom he married in 1955. His children are Elizabeth Sarah Gell-Mann (b. 1956) and Nicholas Webster Gell-Mann (b. 1963); and he has a stepson, Nicholas Southwick Levis (b. 1978).

Awards and honors

See also

Notes

References and further reading

External links


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  • Murray Gell-Mann — (1929 ) es un físico estadounidense. Estudió en la Universidad de Yale y en el Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts. Profesor desde 1955 en la Universidad de California (Pasadena), donde desempeñó desde 1967 la cátedra de Física Teórica, fue… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Murray Gell-Mann — en 2007 Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Murray Gell-Mann — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mann. Murray Gell Mann Murray Gell Mann (1929) est un physicien américain. Il est surtout connu pour ses travaux sur la théorie des …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Murray Gell-Mann — noun United States physicist noted for his studies of subatomic particles (born in 1929) • Syn: ↑Gell Mann • Instance Hypernyms: ↑nuclear physicist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Physiknobelpreis 1969: Murray Gell-Mann —   Der Amerikaner wurde für seine Beiträge und Entdeckungen zur Klassifizierung der Elementarteilchen und zu deren Wechselwirkungen ausgezeichnet.    Biografie   Murray Gell Mann, * 15. 9. 1929 in New York; 1944 48 Studium an der Yale University… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Gell-Mann — Murray Gell Mann Murray Gell Mann an der Harvard University Murray Gell Mann [1](* 15. Septembe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • GELL-MANN, MURRAY — (1929– ), U.S. theoretical physicist. Born in New York City and educated at Yale, which he entered at the age of 15 (B.S. 1948), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Ph.D. 1951), Gell Mann studied physics rather than the languages and… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Murray Gell-Man — Murray Gell Mann Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mann. Murray Gell Mann Murray Gell Mann est un physicien américain …   Wikipédia en Français

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