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“Three quarks for Muster Mark”

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#1 Todd N

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 04:37 AM

One of the great physicists of our times Murray Gell-Mann has died at 89. He introduced the quark model for hadrons, ‘Strangeness’ in the decay of certain particles, arrived at SU(3) symmetry, ‘Eightfold Way’ classification scheme of hadrons that led to the discovery of the Omega minus particle and a whole host of other contributions.  He entered Yale College at the age of 15; That just about says it all. Fascinating to listen to and is often entertainingly blunt and honest. Highly recommended to check out vidoes of him on Youtube:

 

TED talk: Beauty and truth in physics

https://www.youtube....h?v=UuRxRGR3VpM

 

 

Segments of a longer interview about personal life, work and other big figures of 20th century science that he knew. One can skip around these shorter segments to find topics of interest.

https://www.youtube....sQDs6oLP3SZ9BlA

 

 

 

 

 



#2 EJN

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 11:38 AM

Sad to hear this. I attended a lecture by Murray Gell-Mann at Fermilab in the mid 90's right

after his book The Quark and the Jaguar was published. It was one of the most memorable

lectures at Fermilab I ever attended. He said something about quantum mechanics which really

stuck in my head. Paraphrasing from memory:

 

"People say quantum mechanics is spooky or weird. I don't get it. Quantum mechanics is a theory

which makes predictions about sub-atomic particles which have been verified by experiment to

a high degree of precision. What's so weird about that? What's the big deal?"

 

After the lecture, at the book signing table, he was telling stories about when he shared an

office with Richard Feynman. Physics has lost one of its most original thinkers, as well

as a colorful character.

 

The quote in the title of this thread comes from James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”: “Three quarks

for Muster Mark,” which was Gell-Mann's inspiration to name the new particles his theory

predicted "quarks," which at first he thought were just mathematical "placeholders" rather

than physical particles.

 

https://www.nytimes....mann-died-.html


Edited by EJN, 26 May 2019 - 12:05 PM.

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#3 Todd N

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 04:41 AM

Sad to hear this. I attended a lecture by Murray Gell-Mann at Fermilab in the mid 90's right

after his book The Quark and the Jaguar was published. It was one of the most memorable

lectures at Fermilab I ever attended. He said something about quantum mechanics which really

stuck in my head. Paraphrasing from memory:

 

"People say quantum mechanics is spooky or weird. I don't get it. Quantum mechanics is a theory

which makes predictions about sub-atomic particles which have been verified by experiment to

a high degree of precision. What's so weird about that? What's the big deal?"

 

 

Yeah, I've come across his attitude in video about his disdain for the so called 'weirdness' of QM, particularly with entanglement and John Bell's work. He did call it peculiar but seems resign to let it be that way. He made the point that it has to do with contrived terms like 'non-local' that are misleading and create interpretative problems. I'm interested getting deeper into this one of these days with Gell-Mann's point of view in mind.



#4 EJN

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 10:56 PM

Yeah, I've come across his attitude in video about his disdain for the so called 'weirdness' of QM, particularly with entanglement and John Bell's work. He did call it peculiar but seems resign to let it be that way. He made the point that it has to do with contrived terms like 'non-local' that are misleading and create interpretative problems. I'm interested getting deeper into this one of these days with Gell-Mann's point of view in mind.

 

Gell-Mann was a proponent of quantum decoherence and the consistent histories approach to

quantum mechanics. Unlike the Copenhagen interpretation, in consistent histories the

wavefunction never collapses, it decoheres as it interacts with its surroundings from a pure

quantum state to a state which is described by the classical laws of physics.




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