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Martin L. Perl (1927–2014): A Biographical Memoir

Particle physicist Martin Lewis Perl was recognized worldwide for his discovery of the τ (tau) lepton. For that achievement he received the 1982 Wolf Prize and shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physics. He was also a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (elected 1981). Martin's distinctive approach to scientific investigation had its origins in his upbringing and in the influence of I. I. Rabi, his graduate advisor at Columbia University. After coming to Stanford University in 1963, Martin sought to understand why there should be two and only two families of leptons: the electron and its associated neutrino; and the muon and the muon neutrino. His discovery of the τ provided evidence for a third family of fundamental leptons. The bottom quark was discovered shortly afterward at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, providing evidence for a third family of quarks. Direct evidence for the τ neutrino came later, thereby completing the third lepton generat...

Authors:   Gary Feldman; John Jaros; Rafe H. Schindler
Journal:   Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science
Volume:   67
edition:   1
Year:   2017
Pages:   1
DOI:   10.1146/annurev-nucl-061317-093426
Publication date:   19-Oct-2017
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • leptons
  • Stanford University
  • quarks
  • Columbia University
  • American Physical Society
More about Annual Reviews
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    Astrophysical Sources of High-Energy Neutrinos in the IceCube Era

    High-energy neutrino astrophysics has come of age with IceCube's discovery of neutrinos in the TeV to PeV energy range, attributable to extragalactic sources at cosmological distances. At such energies, astrophysical neutrinos must originate in cosmic-ray interactions, providing information ... more

    Reactor Neutrino Experiments: Present and Future

    Reactor neutrinos have been an important tool for both discovery and precision measurement in the history of neutrino studies. Since the first generation of reactor neutrino experiments in the 1950s, the detector technology has advanced greatly. New ideas, new knowledge, and modern software ... more

    Electroweak Measurements at the LHC

    To our present knowledge, all of the physics at the LHC can be described in the framework of the Standard Model of particle physics. Indeed, the newly discovered Higgs boson with a mass close to 125 GeV seems to confirm the predictions of the theory. Thus, in addition to looking for direct ... more

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