Among Murray Gell-Mann’s many contributions to theoretical physics is his famous discovery of the quark – the basic building block of all atomic nuclei throughout the universe — for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1969.
He 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, he will look back to 1905 when Albert Einstein, an unknown scientist, published several papers, each with a revolutionary idea. Gell-Mann 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.
He 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.
The popular science book, The Quark and the Jaguar, Adventures in the Simple and the Complex (1994), tells his own story of finding the connections between the basic laws of physics and the complexity and diversity of the natural world.
He entered Yale 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 Ph.D. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951.
Among the many professional societies in which he is a member are the National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Physical Society, The Royal Society of London and the Council on Foreign Relations.
The event is free and open to the public. Graham Chapel is located north of Mallinckrodt Center on the Washington University Hilltop campus.
For more information, call (314) 935-4620 or visit the Assembly Series Web page (http://assemblyseries.wustl.edu).