Murray Gell-Mann

1969 Nobel Prize in physics recipient

Who is Murray Gell-Mann?

Born in New York City, on September 15th, 1929 Dr. Murray Gell-Mann was born into a family of Jewish immigrants from the Austrian-Hungarian empire.

He is still alive and kicking to this day. He works as a professor at The Santa Fe Institute (which he founded) in California. He has written a popular science book over his theories of quarks known as "The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex"


He had a very intense curiosity and love for mathematics and science, and he graduated valedictorian of his class in high school. He entered into Yale university at 15 years old, and earned his Bachelors degree in physics in 1948. Then he transferred into MIT and received his PhD in Physics in 1951.

Major Contributions to Physics:

discovered cosmic ray particles that became known as kaons and hyperons. This led to his theory of "Strangeness" a quantum number that used strong electromagnetic interactions.

Created the Gell-Mann-Okubo formula that explained his quark models.

Important Contribution to Science:

Gell-Mann went on to prove that Quarks existed, this led to him discovering not only quarks, but antiquarks, and gluons too. A way to distinguish these quarks, antiquarks, and gluons from each other, Gell-Mann created a new theory of classification known as the eightfold way. He was award the nobel prize in physics in 1969 for his contributions and discoveries in the classification of these elementary particles and their interactions. He continued in his studies of quarks and strong electromagnet interactions, and in 972 with the help of Harald Fritzsch, the theorized quantum chromodynamics as a gauge theory for strong interactions. His work with Quarks has led to the discovery of new "flavors" of quarks, which superseded the eightfold way scheme.
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