The Info List - Martin Lewis Perl

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Martin Lewis Perl (June 24, 1927 – September 30, 2014) was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
in 1995 for his discovery of the tau lepton.


1 Life and career

1.1 Discovery of the tau particle 1.2 Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
and later career

2 See also 3 References 4 External links

Life and career[edit] Perl was born in New York City, New York. His parents, Fay (née Resenthal), a secretary and bookkeeper, and Oscar Perl, a stationery salesman who founded a printing and advertising company, were Jewish immigrants to the US from the Polish area of Russia.[1] Perl is a 1948 chemical engineering graduate of Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now known as NYU-Poly) in Brooklyn. After graduation, Perl worked for the General Electric Company, as a chemical engineer in a factory producing electron vacuum tubes. To learn about how the electron tubes worked, Perl signed up for courses in atomic physics and advanced calculus at Union College
Union College
in Schenectady, New York, which led to his growing interest in physics, and eventually to becoming a graduate student in physics in 1950.[1] He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University
Columbia University
in 1955, where his thesis advisor was I.I. Rabi. Perl's thesis described measurements of the nuclear quadrupole moment of sodium, using the atomic beam resonance method that Rabi had won the Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
for in 1944.[1] Following his Ph.D., Perl spent 8 years at the University of Michigan, where he worked on the physics of strong interactions, using bubble chambers and spark chambers to study the scattering of pions and later neutrons on protons.[1] While at Michigan, Perl and Lawrence W. Jones served as co-advisors to Samuel C. C. Ting, who earned the Nobel Prize in Physics
in 1976. Seeking a simpler interaction mechanism to study, Perl started to consider electron and muon interactions.[2] He had the opportunity to start planning experimental work in this area when he moved in 1963 to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
(SLAC), then being built in California. He was particularly interested in understanding the muon: why it should interact almost exactly like the electron but be 206.8 times heavier, and why it should decay through the route that it does. Perl chose to look for answers to these questions in experiments on high-energy charged leptons. In addition, he considered the possibility of finding a third generation of lepton through electron-positron collisions. He died after a heart attack[3] at Stanford University Hospital on September 30, 2014 at the age of 87.[4] Discovery of the tau particle[edit] The tau lepton (τ, also called the tau particle, tauon or simply tau) is an elementary particle similar to the electron, with negative electric charge and a spin of ​1⁄2, but with 3477 times the mass. Together with the electron, the muon, and the three neutrinos, it is classified as a lepton. The tau was first detected in a series of experiments between 1974 and 1977 by Perl with his colleagues at the SLAC-LBL group.[5] Their equipment consisted of SLAC's then-new e+–e− colliding ring, called SPEAR, and the LBL magnetic detector. They could detect and distinguish between leptons, hadrons and photons. SPEAR
was able to collide electrons and positrons at higher energies than had previously been possible, initially at up to 4.8 GeV and eventually at 8 GeV, energies high enough to lead to the production of a tau/antitau pair.[2] The tau has a lifetime of only 6987290000000000000♠2.9×10−13 s and so these particles decayed within a few millimetres of the collision.[6] Hence Perl and his coworkers did not detect the tau directly, but rather discovered anomalous events where they detected either an electron and a muon, or a positron and an antimuon:

"We have discovered 64 events of the form

e+ + e− → e± + μ∓ + at least two undetected particles

for which we have no conventional explanation."

The need for at least two undetected particles was shown by the inability to conserve energy and momentum with only one. However, no other muons, electrons, photons, or hadrons were detected. It was proposed that this event was the production and subsequent decay of a new particle pair:

e+ + e− → τ+ + τ− → e± + μ∓ + 4ν

This was difficult to verify, because the energy to produce the τ+τ− pair is similar to the threshold for D meson production. Work done at DESY-Hamburg, and with the Direct Electron
Counter (DELCO) at SPEAR, subsequently established the mass and spin of the tau. The symbol τ was derived from the Greek τρίτον (triton, meaning "third" in English), since it was the third charged lepton discovered.[7] Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
and later career[edit] Perl won the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
in 1995 jointly with Frederick Reines. The prize was awarded "for pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics". Perl received half "for the discovery of the tau lepton" while Reines received his share "for the detection of the neutrino".[8] He joined University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
as a visiting professor.[9] He served on the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government. In 2009, Perl received an honorary doctorate from the University of Belgrade.[10] See also[edit]

List of Jewish
Nobel laureates


^ a b c d "Martin L. Perl - Biographical". Nobel Media AB. 1995. Retrieved 2013-12-28.  ^ a b Martin L. Perl (1995). "Reflections on the Discovery of the Tau Lepton". Retrieved 2013-12-28.  ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/science/martin-perl-physicist-who-discovered-electrons-long-lost-brother-dies-at-87.html ^ http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/october/martin-perl-obit-100114.html ^ Perl, M. L.; Abrams, G.; Boyarski, A.; Breidenbach, M.; Briggs, D.; Bulos, F.; Chinowsky, W.; Dakin, J.; et al. (1975). "Evidence for Anomalous Lepton
Production in e+e− Annihilation". Physical Review Letters. 35 (22): 1489. Bibcode:1975PhRvL..35.1489P. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.35.1489.  ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel Prize in Physics
1995 - Press Release". Nobel Media AB. 1995. Retrieved 2014-01-01.  ^ M.L. Perl (1977). "Evidence for, and properties of, the new charged heavy lepton" (PDF). In T. Thanh Van (ed.). Proceedings of the XII Rencontre de Moriond. SLAC-PUB-1923. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ " Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
in Physics, 1995". 1995. Retrieved 2013-12-28.  ^ "Professor Martin Perl joins University of Liverpool". BBC. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.  ^ "Promovisani počasni doktori Beogradskog univerziteta - RADIO-TELEVIZIJA VOJVODINE". Rtv.rs. 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Martin Lewis Perl

Nobel autobiography Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
press release, explaining the significance of Perl's work Biography and Bibliographic Resources, from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, United States
United States
Department of Energy Personal blog: Reflections on Physics U.S. Patent 5943075 Universal fluid droplet ejector (Martin Lewis Perl) U.S. Patent 5975682 Two-dimensional fluid droplet arrays generated using a single nozzle (Martin Lewis Perl)

v t e

Laureates of the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
in Physics


1901 Röntgen 1902 Lorentz / Zeeman 1903 Becquerel / P. Curie / M. Curie 1904 Rayleigh 1905 Lenard 1906 J. J. Thomson 1907 Michelson 1908 Lippmann 1909 Marconi / Braun 1910 Van der Waals 1911 Wien 1912 Dalén 1913 Kamerlingh Onnes 1914 Laue 1915 W. L. Bragg / W. H. Bragg 1916 1917 Barkla 1918 Planck 1919 Stark 1920 Guillaume 1921 Einstein 1922 N. Bohr 1923 Millikan 1924 M. Siegbahn 1925 Franck / Hertz


1926 Perrin 1927 Compton / C. Wilson 1928 O. Richardson 1929 De Broglie 1930 Raman 1931 1932 Heisenberg 1933 Schrödinger / Dirac 1934 1935 Chadwick 1936 Hess / C. D. Anderson 1937 Davisson / G. P. Thomson 1938 Fermi 1939 Lawrence 1940 1941 1942 1943 Stern 1944 Rabi 1945 Pauli 1946 Bridgman 1947 Appleton 1948 Blackett 1949 Yukawa 1950 Powell


1951 Cockcroft / Walton 1952 Bloch / Purcell 1953 Zernike 1954 Born / Bothe 1955 Lamb / Kusch 1956 Shockley / Bardeen / Brattain 1957 C. N. Yang / T. D. Lee 1958 Cherenkov / Frank / Tamm 1959 Segrè / Chamberlain 1960 Glaser 1961 Hofstadter / Mössbauer 1962 Landau 1963 Wigner / Goeppert-Mayer / Jensen 1964 Townes / Basov / Prokhorov 1965 Tomonaga / Schwinger / Feynman 1966 Kastler 1967 Bethe 1968 Alvarez 1969 Gell-Mann 1970 Alfvén / Néel 1971 Gabor 1972 Bardeen / Cooper / Schrieffer 1973 Esaki / Giaever / Josephson 1974 Ryle / Hewish 1975 A. Bohr / Mottelson / Rainwater


1976 Richter / Ting 1977 P. W. Anderson / Mott / Van Vleck 1978 Kapitsa / Penzias / R. Wilson 1979 Glashow / Salam / Weinberg 1980 Cronin / Fitch 1981 Bloembergen / Schawlow / K. Siegbahn 1982 K. Wilson 1983 Chandrasekhar / Fowler 1984 Rubbia / Van der Meer 1985 von Klitzing 1986 Ruska / Binnig / Rohrer 1987 Bednorz / Müller 1988 Lederman / Schwartz / Steinberger 1989 Ramsey / Dehmelt / Paul 1990 Friedman / Kendall / R. Taylor 1991 de Gennes 1992 Charpak 1993 Hulse / J. Taylor 1994 Brockhouse / Shull 1995 Perl / Reines 1996 D. Lee / Osheroff / R. Richardson 1997 Chu / Cohen-Tannoudji / Phillips 1998 Laughlin / Störmer / Tsui 1999 't Hooft / Veltman 2000 Alferov / Kroemer / Kilby

2001– present

2001 Cornell / Ketterle / Wieman 2002 Davis / Koshiba / Giacconi 2003 Abrikosov / Ginzburg / Leggett 2004 Gross / Politzer / Wilczek 2005 Glauber / Hall / Hänsch 2006 Mather / Smoot 2007 Fert / Grünberg 2008 Nambu / Kobayashi / Maskawa 2009 Kao / Boyle / Smith 2010 Geim / Novoselov 2011 Perlmutter / Riess / Schmidt 2012 Wineland / Haroche 2013 Englert / Higgs 2014 Akasaki / Amano / Nakamura 2015 Kajita / McDonald 2016 Thouless / Haldane / Kosterlitz 2017 Weiss / Barish / Thorne

v t e

1995 Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize


Paul J. Crutzen
Paul J. Crutzen
(Netherlands) Mario J. Molina
Mario J. Molina
(Mexico) F. Sherwood Rowland (United States)


Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney


Joseph Rotblat (United Kingdom/Poland) Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs


Martin Lewis Perl (United States) Frederick Reines
Frederick Reines
(United States)

Physiology or Medicine

Edward B. Lewis
Edward B. Lewis
(United States) Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
(Germany) Eric F. Wieschaus
Eric F. Wieschaus
(United States)

Economic Sciences

Robert Lucas, Jr. (United States)

Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
recipients 1990 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

v t e

Laureates of the Wolf Prize in Physics


Chien-Shiung Wu
Chien-Shiung Wu
(1978) George Uhlenbeck / Giuseppe Occhialini
Giuseppe Occhialini


Michael Fisher / Leo Kadanoff
Leo Kadanoff
/ Kenneth G. Wilson (1980) Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson
/ Gerardus 't Hooft / Victor Weisskopf (1981) Leon M. Lederman
Leon M. Lederman
/ Martin Lewis Perl (1982) Erwin Hahn / Peter Hirsch / Theodore Maiman
Theodore Maiman
(1983–84) Conyers Herring / Philippe Nozières (1984–85) Mitchell Feigenbaum
Mitchell Feigenbaum
/ Albert J. Libchaber (1986) Herbert Friedman / Bruno Rossi
Bruno Rossi
/ Riccardo Giacconi
Riccardo Giacconi
(1987) Roger Penrose
Roger Penrose
/ Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking


Pierre-Gilles de Gennes / David J. Thouless
David J. Thouless
(1990) Maurice Goldhaber
Maurice Goldhaber
/ Valentine Telegdi (1991) Joseph H. Taylor Jr. (1992) Benoît Mandelbrot (1993) Vitaly Ginzburg
Vitaly Ginzburg
/ Yoichiro Nambu
Yoichiro Nambu
(1994–95) John Wheeler (1996–97) Yakir Aharonov
Yakir Aharonov
/ Michael Berry (1998) Dan Shechtman
Dan Shechtman


Raymond Davis Jr.
Raymond Davis Jr.
/ Masatoshi Koshiba
Masatoshi Koshiba
(2000) Bertrand Halperin
Bertrand Halperin
/ Anthony Leggett (2002–03) Robert Brout
Robert Brout
/ François Englert
François Englert
/ Peter Higgs
Peter Higgs
(2004) Daniel Kleppner (2005) Albert Fert
Albert Fert
/ Peter Grünberg
Peter Grünberg


John F. Clauser / Alain Aspect
Alain Aspect
/ Anton Zeilinger
Anton Zeilinger
(2010) Maximilian Haider / Harald Rose
Harald Rose
/ Knut Urban (2011) Jacob Bekenstein
Jacob Bekenstein
(2012) Peter Zoller
Peter Zoller
/ Juan Ignacio Cirac (2013) James D. Bjorken / Robert P. Kirshner (2015) Yoseph Imry
Yoseph Imry
(2016) Michel Mayor
Michel Mayor
/ Didier Queloz
Didier Queloz
(2017) Charles H. Bennett / Gilles Brassard (2018)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 112395803 LCCN: no94000495 ISNI: 0000 0001 0936 479X GND: 135859441 SUDOC: 050391208 BNF: cb13495884d