Leon M. Lederman
Lederman in 1988
Leon Max Lederman
July 15, 1922
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||October 3, 2018 96) (aged|
Rexburg, Idaho, U.S.
|Education|| City College of New York (B.A.)|
Columbia University (Ph.D.)
|Known for||Seminal contributions to neutrinos, bottom quark|
|Spouse(s)||Florence Gordon (divorced)|
Ellen Carr (until his death)
|Awards|| Nobel Prize in Physics (1988)|
Wolf Prize in Physics (1982)
National Medal of Science (1965)
Vannevar Bush Award (2012)
William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement (1991)
|Institutions|| Columbia University |
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Illinois Institute of Technology
Leon Max Lederman (July 15, 1922 – October 3, 2018) was an American experimental physicist who received the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1982, along with Martin Lewis Perl, for their research on quarks and leptons, and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988, along with Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger, for their research on neutrinos. Lederman was Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois. He founded the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, in Aurora, Illinois in 1986, and was Resident Scholar Emeritus there from 2012 until his death in 2018.
The Wolf Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. It is one of the six Wolf Prizes established by the Foundation and awarded since 1978; the others are in Agriculture, Chemistry, Mathematics, Medicine and Arts.
Martin Lewis Perl was an American chemical engineer and physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1995 for his discovery of the tau lepton.
A quark is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly observed or found in isolation; they can be found only within hadrons, which include baryons and mesons. For this reason, much of what is known about quarks has been drawn from observations of hadrons.
An accomplished scientific writer, he became known for his 1993 book The God Particle establishing the importance of the Higgs boson.
The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? is a 1993 popular science book by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon M. Lederman and science writer Dick Teresi.
The Higgs boson is an elementary particle in the Standard Model of particle physics, produced by the quantum excitation of the Higgs field, one of the fields in particle physics theory. It is named after physicist Peter Higgs, who in 1964, along with five other scientists, proposed the mechanism which suggested the existence of such a particle. Its existence was confirmed in 2012 by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations based on collisions in the LHC at CERN.
Lederman was born in New York City, New York, to Morris and Minna (Rosenberg) Lederman.His parents were Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants from Kiev and Odessa. Lederman graduated from James Monroe High School in the South Bronx, and received his bachelor's degree from the City College of New York in 1943.
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine, located in the north-central part of the country on the Dnieper. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974, making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe.
Odessa is the third most populous city of Ukraine and a major tourism center, seaport and transport hub located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. It is also the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast and a multiethnic cultural center. Odessa is sometimes called the "pearl of the Black Sea", the "South Capital", and "Southern Palmyra". Before the Tsarist establishment of Odessa, an ancient Greek settlement existed at its location as elsewhere along the northwestern Black Sea coast. A more recent Tatar settlement was also founded at the location by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea in 1440 that was named after him as "Hacıbey". After a period of Lithuanian Grand Duchy control, Hacibey and surroundings became part of the domain of the Ottomans in 1529 and remained there until the empire's defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792.
The South Bronx is an area of the New York City borough of the Bronx. As the name implies, the area comprises neighborhoods in the southern part of the Bronx, such as Concourse, Mott Haven, Melrose, and Port Morris. The South Bronx is known for its hip hop culture and graffiti.
He next enlisted in the United States Army 17 Following his discharge in 1946, he enrolled at Columbia University's graduate school, receiving his Ph.D. in 1951.during World War II, intending to become a physicist after his service. :
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
Lederman became a faculty member at Columbia University, and he was promoted to full professor in 1958 as Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics. 796 In 1960, on leave from Columbia, he spent time at CERN in Geneva as a Ford Foundation Fellow. He took an extended leave of absence from Columbia in 1979 to become director of Fermilab. Resigning from Columbia (and retiring from Fermilab) in 1989, he then taught briefly at the University of Chicago. He then moved to the physics department of the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he served as the Pritzker Professor of Science. In 1992, Lederman served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.:
Eugene Higgins was the rich heir to a carpet-making business who was a bon viveur, sportsman and philanthropist. He was a bachelor and when he died in 1948, his estate went to establish the Higgins Trust which was, at that time, the eleventh largest of its kind in the USA. The funds from this trust endowed chairs at Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale universities.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Established in 1954, the organization is based in a northwest suburb of Geneva on the Franco–Swiss border and has 23 member states. Israel is the only non-European country granted full membership. CERN is an official United Nations Observer.
The Ford Foundation is an American private foundation with the mission of advancing human welfare. Created in 1936 by Edsel Ford and Henry Ford, it was originally funded by a US$25,000 gift from Edsel Ford. By 1947, after the death of the two founders, the foundation owned 90% of the non-voting shares of the Ford Motor Company. Between 1955 and 1974, the foundation sold its Ford Motor Company holdings and now plays no role in the automobile company. Ahead of the foundation selling its Ford Motor Company holdings, in 1949 Henry Ford II created the Ford Motor Company Fund, a separate corporate foundation which to this day serves as the philanthropic arm of the Ford Motor Company and is not associated with the foundation. For years it was the largest, and one of the most influential foundations in the world, with global reach and special interests in economic empowerment, education, human rights, democracy, the creative arts, and Third World development.
Lederman served as President of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and at the time of his death was Chair Emeritus.He also served on the board of trustees for Science Service, now known as Society for Science & the Public, from 1989 to 1992, and was a member of the JASON defense advisory group. Lederman was also one of the main proponents of the "Physics First" movement. Also known as "Right-side Up Science" and "Biology Last," this movement seeks to rearrange the current high school science curriculum so that physics precedes chemistry and biology.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a nonprofit organization concerning science and global security issues resulting from accelerating technological advances that have negative consequences for humanity. The Bulletin publishes content at both a free-access website and a bi-monthly, nontechnical academic journal. The organization has been publishing continuously since 1945, when it was founded by former Manhattan Project scientists as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of Chicago immediately following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The organization is also the keeper of the internationally recognized Doomsday Clock, the time of which is announced each January.
Society for Science & the Public (SSP), formerly known as Science Service, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of science, through its science education programs and publications, including the bi-weekly Science News magazine and the free-accessible online Science News for Students.
JASON is an independent group of elite scientists which advises the United States government on matters of science and technology, mostly of a sensitive nature. The group was first created as a way to get a younger generation of scientists—that is, not the older Los Alamos and MIT Radiation Laboratory alumni—involved in advising the government. It was established in 1960 and has somewhere between 30 and 60 members. Its work first gained public notoriety as the source of the Vietnam War's McNamara Line electronic barrier. Although most of its research is military-focused, JASON also produced early work on the science of global warming and acid rain. Current unclassified research interests include health informatics, cyberwarfare, and renewable energy.
Lederman was an early supporter of Science Debate 2008, an initiative to get the then-candidates for president, Barack Obama and John McCain, to debate the nation's top science policy challenges.In October 2010, Lederman participated in the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Lunch with a Laureate program where middle and high school students engaged in an informal conversation with a Nobel Prize-winning scientist over a brown-bag lunch. Lederman was also a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's Advisory Board.
In 1956, Lederman worked on parity violation in weak interactions. R. L. Garwin, Leon Lederman, and R. Weinrich modified an existing cyclotron experiment, and they immediately verified the parity violation.They delayed publication of their results until after Wu's group was ready, and the two papers appeared back to back in the same physics journal. Among his achievements are the discovery of the muon neutrino in 1962 and the bottom quark in 1977. These helped establish his reputation as among the top particle physicists.
In 1977, a group of physicists, the E288 experiment team, led by Lederman announced that a particle with a mass of about 6.0 GeV was being produced by the Fermilab particle accelerator.After taking further data, the group discovered that this particle did not actually exist, and the "discovery" was named "Oops-Leon" as a pun on the original name and Lederman's first name.
As the director of Fermilab, Lederman was a prominent supporter 87of the Superconducting Super Collider project, which was endorsed around 1983, and was a major proponent and advocate throughout its lifetime. Lederman later wrote his 1993 popular science book The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? – which sought to promote awareness of the significance of such a project – in the context of the project's last years and the changing political climate of the 1990s. The increasingly moribund project was finally shelved that same year after some $2 billion of expenditures. In The God Particle he wrote, "The history of atomism is one of reductionism – the effort to reduce all the operations of nature to a small number of laws governing a small number of primordial objects" while stressing the importance of the Higgs boson. :
In 1988, Lederman received the Nobel Prize for Physics along with Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger "for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino".Lederman also received the National Medal of Science (1965), the Elliott Cresson Medal for Physics (1976), the Wolf Prize for Physics (1982) and the Enrico Fermi Award (1992). In 1995, he received the Chicago History Museum "Making History Award" for Distinction in Science Medicine and Technology.
Lederman's best friend during his college years, Martin J. Klein, convinced him of "the splendors of physics during a long evening over many beers". 17 On August 26, 2008 Lederman was video-recorded by a science focused organization called ScienCentral, on the street in a major U.S. city, answering questions from passersby. He answered questions such as "What is the strong force?" and "What happened before the Big Bang?".He was known for his sense of humor in the physics community. :
Despite his Jewish background, Lederman was an atheist.He had three children with his first wife, Florence Gordon, and toward the end of his life lived with his second wife, Ellen (Carr), in Driggs, Idaho.
Lederman began to suffer from memory loss in 2011 and, after struggling with medical bills, he had to sell his Nobel medal for $765,000 to cover the costs in 2015.He died of complications from dementia on October 3, 2018, at a care facility in Rexburg, Idaho at the age of 96.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Since 2007, Fermilab has been operated by the Fermi Research Alliance, a joint venture of the University of Chicago, and the Universities Research Association (URA). Fermilab is a part of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor.
The bottom quark or b quark, also known as the beauty quark, is a third-generation quark with a charge of −1/3 e.
Peter Ware Higgs is a British theoretical physicist, emeritus professor in the University of Edinburgh, and Nobel Prize laureate for his work on the mass of subatomic particles.
The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) was a particle accelerator complex under construction in the vicinity of Waxahachie, Texas.
Jack Steinberger is an American physicist who, along with Leon M. Lederman and Melvin Schwartz, received the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the muon neutrino.
Dr. George Randolph Kalbfleisch was a US particle physicist.
The timeline of particle physics lists the sequence of particle physics theories and discoveries in chronological order. The most modern developments follow the scientific development of the discipline of particle physics.
QuarkNet is a long-term, research-based teacher professional development program in the United States jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy. Since 1999, QuarkNet has established centers at universities and national laboratories conducting research in particle physics across the United States. Mentor physicists and physics teachers collaborate to bring cutting-edge physics to high school classrooms. QuarkNet offers research experiences for teachers and students, teacher workshops and sustained follow-on support. Through these activities, teachers enhance their knowledge and understanding of scientific research and transfer this experience to their classrooms, engaging students in both the substance and processes of contemporary physics research. Teachers may receive academic credit for their participation. QuarkNet programs are designed and conducted according to “best practices” described in the National Research Council National Science Education Standards report (1995) and support the Next Generation Science Standards (2103).
Carl Richard Hagen is a professor of particle physics at the University of Rochester. He is most noted for his contributions to the Standard Model and Symmetry breaking as well as the 1964 co-discovery of the Higgs mechanism and Higgs boson with Gerald Guralnik and Tom Kibble (GHK). As part of Physical Review Letters 50th anniversary celebration, the journal recognized this discovery as one of the milestone papers in PRL history. While widely considered to have authored the most complete of the early papers on the Higgs theory, GHK were controversially not included in the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Nigel Lockyer is an American experimental particle physicist and current director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), in Batavia, Illinois, America's premier laboratory for particle physics research, since September 2013.
Christopher T. Hill is an American theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory who did undergraduate work in physics at M.I.T., and graduate work at Caltech. Hill's Ph.D. thesis, "Higgs Scalars and the Nonleptonic Weak Interactions" (1977) contains the first detailed discussion of the two-Higgs-doublet model.
Joseph David Lykken is a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. As of July 1, 2014 he is the Deputy Director and Chief Research Officer of Fermilab.
Arie Bodek is an American experimental particle physicist and the George E. Pake Professor of Physics at the University of Rochester.
Particle accelerators in popular culture is about popular science books, fictional literature, feature films, TV series and other venues which include particle accelerators as part of their content. Particle physics, fictional or scientific, is an inherent part of this topic.
Don Lincoln is an American physicist, author, host of the YouTube channel Fermilab, and science communicator. He conducts research in particle physics at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and is an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame. He received a Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from Rice University in 1994. In 1995, he was a codiscoverer of the top quark. He has coauthored hundreds of research papers and, more recently, was a member of the team that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012.
Joseph "Joe" Incandela is an American particle physicist, a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and currently based at CERN, where he spent two years as the spokesperson for the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.
The Department at the Illinois Institute of Technology has over 30 faculty members. It offers undergraduate academic programs including B.S. in physics, applied physics, and physics education and graduate programs in physics and health physics. Many notable physicists have both taught and studied at IIT including Nobel Prize for Physics laureates Leon M. Lederman and Jack Steinberger.
John Peoples Jr. is an American physicist who served as Fermilab's third director, served as director of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and oversaw the shutdown of the Superconducting Super Collider.
Disappointed American physicists are anxiously searching for a way to salvage some science from the ill-fated superconducting super collider ... "We have to keep the momentum and optimism and start thinking about international collaboration," said Leon M. Lederman, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who was the architect of the super collider plan
Lederman also planned what he saw as Fermilab's next machine, the Superconducting SuperCollider (SSC)
Lederman, who considers himself an unofficial propagandist for the super collider, said the SSC could reverse the physics brain drain in which bright young physicists have left America to work in Europe and elsewhere.
Lederman, one of the principal spokesmen for the SSC, was an accomplished high-energy experimentalist who had made Nobel Prize-winning contributions to the development of the Standard Model during the 1960s (although the prize itself did not come until 1988). He was a fixture at congressional hearings on the collider, an unbridled advocate of its merits 
The possibility that the next big machine would create the Higgs became a carrot to dangle in front of funding agencies and politicians. A prominent American physicist, Leon lederman, advertised the Higgs as The God Particle in the title of a book published in 1993 ...Lederman was involved in a campaign to persuade the US government to continue funding the Superconducting Super Collider... the ink was not dry on Lederman's book before the US Congress decided to write off the billions of dollars already spent
"Physics isn't a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money." - Leon Lederman
Leon Lederman is himself an atheist and he regrets the term, and Peter Higgs who is an atheist too, has expressed his displeasure, but the damage has been done!
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