September 15, 1929 - Birth of Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel Prize winner who coined the term quark

Firma de Murray Gell-Mann

He studied Physics at Yale University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and contributed from a very young age to research related to the use of particle accelerators, machines that collide protons and electrons at high speeds to decipher their components.

In 1961, Gell-Mann and Yuval Neieman independently proposed a scheme for arranging into groups of eight and ten the more than 100 elementary particles predicted by mathematical theories or observed in experiments with particle accelerators to be inside the atomic nucleus. The "Eightfold Way" or eightfold path, which Gell-Mann called poetically in reference to the eightfold path of Buddhism, the path that leads to enlightenment.

His theory brought order to the chaos that arose when particles were discovered, and his system classified subatomic particles such as protons, neutrons, mesons, and baryons, into groups with similar and related properties. This not only helped to describe the interactions between the particles, but also made it possible to predict the existence of others not yet known.

In 1969, he received the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discoveries on elementary particles.

Based on his system, Gell-Mann predicted the existence of another hypothetical particle composed of protons and neutrons, called a quark. The name was taken from the comic novel "Finnegans Wake" by Irish author James Joyce. In it, quark refers to the onomatopoeia of a seagull cry and associated with Three (three in English), very appropriate because at that time only three types of quarks were known.

In 1994, he published the book "The Quark and the Jaguar, Adventures in the Simplex and the Complex" for the general public, explaining why he chose the term .

The existence of the particle was verified years later in experiments with particle accelerators.

Throughout his career, he has taught at different institutions such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago.

In addition to science, Glenn-Mann was interested in other fields such as literature, natural history, historical linguistics, archaeology, history, and psychology. For this reason he was a member of the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, the American Physical Society, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Association for the Advance Science JASON.

If you want to know more about this scientist, click on the following link: Murray Gell-Mann

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