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Sheldon Glashow. The SU(2) times U1 theory


The Sigma model
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
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We played with the sigma model and used it as an example of many different things. I don't think we were the first ever to use it, but we certainly made a great deal more use of it than had been… than had… than  before. We also developed the non-linear sigma model which somebody else may have had before, I  don’t know whether it was absolutely original, but that's… but again we did much more with it than anyone else and possibly we discovered it, I don't know. Feynman didn't want to have anything to do with the non-linear sigma model. He said he didn't believe in square roots of fields, he didn't understand square roots of fields, he didn't want to discuss square roots of fields–and so he wouldn't sign any paper that included them. So we had to leave him off of the ones that mentioned it, and the ones that didn't mention it he–as far as the ones that didn't mention it were concerned–he hadn't contributed to those. So he didn't co-sign any of the papers I wrote in Paris.

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: Paris, Richard Feynman

Duration: 1 minute

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 24 January 2008