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Associated production, isotopic spin and strangeness


The role of Pais; associated production
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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He was one of the people who had suggested–along with Nambu and some others, working all independently–the idea of associated production. But he had a different idea, not… when he... when he expanded the idea of associated production–which by itself was not enough to describe the facts--when he expanded it he did it in terms of a kind of parity, a sort of odd-even rule, whereas in fact it was not an odd-even rule. It was a strangeness, or the Z component of isotopic spin was a parameter that could assume discrete values going all the way up to plus infinity and minus infinity; it was not just an odd/even thing. So the idea wasn't really… beyond associated production the rest of the idea 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: Yoichiro Nambu, Abraham Pais

Duration: 54 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 24 January 2008