A Tribute to the Inventor of Quarks, Prof. Murray Gell-Mann

The Life and Fundamental Physics Contributions of Prof. Murray Gell-Mann

We mourn the passing of the greatest theoretical physicist of the modern era, Prof. Murray Gell-Mann of Caltech.  He passed on May 24, 2019 at the age of 89.  

He established the theory of Weak Interactions with Richard Feynman.  He described new sets of strongly interacting particles with the number he named Strangeness.  He classified the strongly interacting particles with the symmetry SU(3), also called the eight-fold way, simultaneously with Yuval Ne’eman.  He then invented the constituents which could make up the strongly interacting particles, the fractionally charged quarks.  George Zweig had also discovered this.  Assigning them a label called color, of which there were red, green, and blue, he built the dynamical theory called Quantum Chromodynamics, by which the quarks are bound together with colored gluons, the analog of photons for electromagnetism.

Gell-Mann received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1969 “for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions.”

Wikipedia has a full list of his many accomplishments.

I gave a talk on Gell-Mann to OLLI in 2012 on these accomplishments, with further explanation.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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