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Proposing quarks. The Physical Review and Physics Letters


George Zweig and Leon van Hove
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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He had a quarrel with Léon van Hove or van Huffel, depending on whether you say it in French or in Flemish. And Léon was some sort of European patriot, and he wanted CERN people to publish in European journals. And George is a very stubborn rebel type and he didn't want to do that, and so they argued and argued and George never got his paper published at all anywhere. His proposals were written up much later in notes for lectures on Erice, or something of that kind, but by then it was much later. It was too bad. Anyway, I've always tried to get him credit for being the co-proposer of this idea.

New York-born physicist Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019) was known for his creation of the eightfold way, an ordering system for subatomic particles, comparable to the periodic table. His discovery of the omega-minus particle filled a gap in the system, brought the theory wide acceptance and led to Gell-Mann's winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1969.

Listeners: Geoffrey West

Geoffrey West is a Staff Member, Fellow, and Program Manager for High Energy Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is also a member of The Santa Fe Institute. He is a native of England and was educated at Cambridge University (B.A. 1961). He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1966 followed by post-doctoral appointments at Cornell and Harvard Universities. He returned to Stanford as a faculty member in 1970. He left to build and lead the Theoretical High Energy Physics Group at Los Alamos. He has numerous scientific publications including the editing of three books. His primary interest has been in fundamental questions in Physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles and their interactions. His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena grew out of his work on scaling in quantum chromodynamics and the unification of all forces of nature. In 1996 this evolved into the highly productive collaboration with James Brown and Brian Enquist on the origin of allometric scaling laws in biology and the development of realistic quantitative models that analyse the influence of size on the structural and functional design of organisms.

Tags: CERN, Léon Van Hove

Duration: 53 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 24 January 2008