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If you like Murray Gell-Mann's story, you might also like:
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Murray Gell-Mann
Murray Gell-Mann
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Murray Gell-Mann Profile

Developer of the Quark Theory

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  Murray Gell-Mann

As a boy, Murray Gell-Mann excelled in every possible field of academic study, except one -- physics -- but after he decided to pursue it as a career, he emerged as the era's most brilliant and original mind in the field. In his 20s, he revolutionized the study of particle physics, and for the next two decades, he dominated the field.

He was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics, for bringing order out of the chaos of particle theory. Even a short list of his discoveries reads like a history of mankind's evolving understanding of the building blocks of matter. The renormalization group, the V-A interaction, the conserved vector current, the partially conserved axial current, the eightfold way, current algebra, the quark model and the theory of quantum chromodynamics are among his monumental original contributions to the field.

His powerful ability to envision the sub-atomic world was matched by a uniquely vivid gift for describing it, in a fanciful original terminology of "strangeness" and "color," of "quarks" and "gluons." Not content with his awe-inspiring accomplishments in theoretical physics, he founded the Santa Fe Institute to foster the interdisciplinary study of complex adaptive systems, not least the evolution of human language.

This page last revised on Feb 21, 2008 14:38 EDT
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