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Electro weak and charm

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Getting the Nobel Prize (Part 2)
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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We made plans to… to go to Stockholm. Gweneth Feynman lent Margaret her mink coat and... the...  we… we went over there together. My brother Ben appeared. It turned out a group of his friends in Southern Illinois took up a collection to… to pay for his trip, and one of the people was the president of the... of Southern Illinois University, about whom he had written some articles that the president didn't like too much. Something about the money spent on the presidential house or something of that kind. So he insisted that the ad that they put... that they put in various places to try to raise money for the trip would have a picture of Ben and the slogan: Get this man out of the country! Of course, when he showed up, he's so much more distinguished-looking; everybody assumed that he was the scientist receiving the prize. And we all went out to the country together with our handler, from the Swedish diplomatic service. They always supply a relatively young member of the diplomatic service to take care of each honoree. This was a marvelous young man with a splendid wife, and the two of them were really nice to us, we had a great time with them. And one thing they did was to take us out to his parents' place in the country where there were... there was an old Viking tomb and some runestones and... and we saw a Black Woodpecker, which for Ben and me was really a marvelous... a marvelous thing. But I skipped Uppsala in order to do that, so I didn't see Uppsala and I didn't see the Codex Argenteus until many, many years later–1991 when the Nobel people held the first Nobel reunion ever, the ninetieth anniversary of the first prize—and Marcia and I were engaged and we went over there together. It was just six months before we were married and we went over there together and it was a splendid occasion, and then I got to go finally to Uppsala and I got to see the Codex Argenteus.

New York-born physicist Murray Gell-Mann is 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: Stockholm, Gwynneth Feynman, Southern Illinois University, Uppsala, Codex Argenteus, Nobel Prize

Duration: 2 minutes, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 29 September 2010