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So many interests, so little time


Living and teaching in New Mexico
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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I'm so happy to be here in New Mexico, I love it here and I love the Santa Fe Institute, it's a wonderful institution and I'm so terribly proud to be associated with it and to have helped start it, and I enjoy being a consultant at Los Alamos and I enjoy teaching part time at the University of New Mexico, and Marcia teaches there too and we go down Tuesdays and Thursdays in the fall. We drive down together, we separate and teach in separate buildings and then we drive back together and it's a lot of fun. I've really never enjoyed teaching so much. Some day we're going to exchange classes and see if anybody notices. I'll teach a class on how to write poetry and she'll teach one on simplicity and complexity and we'll see if anybody notices the difference.

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: New Mexico, Santa Fe Institute, Los Alamos, University of New Mexico, Marcia Southwick

Duration: 48 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 29 September 2010