R.I.P. Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019)

I heard this morning of the death of Murray Gell-Mann who passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Professor Gell-Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1969 for his work on elementary particle physics, specifically for the development of the quark model. It was Gell-Mann who appropriated the phrase from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (‘Three quarks for Muster Mark’) from which the word `quark’ passed into the scientific lexicon.

There will be proper tributes from people who knew the man and his science far better than I do, so I’ll just say here that he was a man who made enormous contributions to physics and who will be greatly missed.

Rest in peace Murray Gell-Mann (1919-2019).

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10 Responses to “R.I.P. Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019)”

  1. Dark Energy Says:

    Really sad to hear this news. Just couple of weeks back I was
    watching his interview in which he seemed to claim Feynman
    didn’t believe in washing his hand after using toilets and didn’t
    believed in brushing his teeth either in addition to many
    other interesting facts about their collaboration etc.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      I don’t believe in brushing my teeth after using the toilet either. And certainly not with the brush provided.

  2. Dark Energy Says:

  3. I remember when it was just neutrons, protons, and electrons. Life was much simpler then.

  4. Sad news, another one of my heroes gone.

  5. Anton Garrett Says:

    That’s a real loss. I remember seeing him give a talk in the Babbage lecture theatre in Cambridge, a wise choice as so many people turned up. (It’s large.)

    • telescoper Says:

      Gell-Mann had a reputation of being rather difficult but everyone I know who actually met him speaks very highly of him, not only as a physicist but also as a mentor to younger people.

      He did of course fall out rather publicly with Richard Feynman but I’m inclined to think that was largely Feynman’s fault.

  6. Paraphrasing Newton, he said that if he had seen farther than others, then it was because he was surrounded by dwarfs.

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