Nobel Prize winner Gell-Mann to talk March 3

Among Murray Gell-Mann’s many contributions to theoretical physics is his discovery of the quark — the basic building block of all atomic nuclei throughout the universe — for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1969.

Murray Gell-Mann
Murray Gell-Mann

Gell-Mann, Ph.D., will present the Arthur Holly Compton Lecture, “Einstein and His Legacy,” at 4 p.m. March 3 in Graham Chapel as part of the Assembly Series.

In his talk, Gell-Mann will look back to 1905, when Albert Einstein — then an unknown scientist — published several papers, each with a revolutionary idea. He will examine Einstein’s creative thinking, how current cosmological discoveries relate to his work, and today’s efforts to find a unified theory of everything.

Gell-Mann is the R.A. Millikan Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at California Institute of Technology and a distinguished fellow of the Santa Fe Institute, a multidisciplinary think tank he helped found in 1984.

The institute, which reflects his broad range of interests and deep understanding, brings together distinguished scientists and scholars who wish to stray outside their own fields but can’t do so easily at their own institutions.

Gell-Mann’s popular science book, The Quark and the Jaguar, Adventures in the Simple and the Complex (1994), tells his story of finding the connections between the basic laws of physics and the complexity and diversity of the natural world.

He entered Yale University at the age of 15. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1948, he worked with Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago.

He earned a doctorate in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, The Royal Society of London and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Assembly Series lectures are free and open to the public.

For more information, go online to or call 935-4620.