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Giving a paper at SLAC. David Politzer


The color picture with confined color
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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When Fritzsch and Bardeen and I were talking about the color picture with confined color, we applied it to the total cross-section for the production of hadrons by a colliding positron and electron, which was being measured at SLAC and we predicted essentially the correct value. We didn't get exactly the right value for the total ratio to electron positron, because we didn't know about the third lepton, the tau, which was in there also; but we did get the correct value for the hadron cross-section, that is e plus eminus goes into hadrons. It was expressed in terms of this ratio—capital R–and we got the value of capital R right when we had color. Without color it was wrong.

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: SLAC, Harald Fritzsch, William A Bardeen

Duration: 1 minute, 7 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 29 September 2010