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For 40 years, Martin Perl plumbed the mysteries of matter. His experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center led to the discovery of the "tau lepton," a particle similar to an electron but vastly heavier, that plays a central role in one of the most fundamental questions in physics: "What is mass, and why do things have the masses they do?" This landmark contribution to science earned him the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physics. The son of Russian immigrants, he grew up in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, he loved reading, particularly mathematics and science, but a career as a scientist seemed unimaginable. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemical in engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic, but was soon drawn to the ever-expanding field of particle physics and earned a Ph.D. at Columbia University. He spent much of his career as a Professor of Physics at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. At the time of this podcast, recorded at the Academy of Achievement's 1996 Summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, he was Chairman of the High Energy Physics Faculty. Dr. Perl's presentation includes a whimsical review of his contribution to the field of particle physics, and a brief demonstration of an erasable paint system he developed with his wife, artist Judy Finer.

Martin Perl Academy of Achievement

    • Wissenschaft

For 40 years, Martin Perl plumbed the mysteries of matter. His experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center led to the discovery of the "tau lepton," a particle similar to an electron but vastly heavier, that plays a central role in one of the most fundamental questions in physics: "What is mass, and why do things have the masses they do?" This landmark contribution to science earned him the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physics. The son of Russian immigrants, he grew up in Brooklyn, New York. As a child, he loved reading, particularly mathematics and science, but a career as a scientist seemed unimaginable. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemical in engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic, but was soon drawn to the ever-expanding field of particle physics and earned a Ph.D. at Columbia University. He spent much of his career as a Professor of Physics at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. At the time of this podcast, recorded at the Academy of Achievement's 1996 Summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, he was Chairman of the High Energy Physics Faculty. Dr. Perl's presentation includes a whimsical review of his contribution to the field of particle physics, and a brief demonstration of an erasable paint system he developed with his wife, artist Judy Finer.

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