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We never wrote up the crossing relations


Learning about theory
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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Murph and I looked at another way to learn about theory in very important and general and elegant ways, without trying to write down the final theory. And that was to look at the properties of field theory as evidenced by the Feynman diagrams to all orders and to abstract from the Feynman diagrams, to all orders, certain properties; particularly symmetry properties, but also dispersion relations and other things. And… and then to suppose that those were general principles that would apply non-perturbatively to the real theory: not an unreasonable supposition. And that approach is a way to describe a great deal of what my friends and I were doing at that time. In that paper 'The Garden of Live Flowers' dedicated to Viki, that's what I… I make that point.

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: The Garden of Live Flowers, Murph Goldberger, Victor Weisskopf

Duration: 1 minute, 3 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 24 January 2008