Leon M. Lederman

About Leon M. Lederman

Who is it?: Physicist
Birth Day: July 15, 1922
Birth Place: New York City, United States
Residence: United States
Alma mater: City College of New York Columbia University
Known for: Seminal contributions to neutrinos, bottom quark
Spouse(s): Florence Gordon (3 children) Ellen Carr
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)
Fields: Physics
Institutions: Columbia University Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Illinois Institute of Technology

Leon M. Lederman

Leon M. Lederman was born on July 15, 1922 in New York City, United States, is Physicist. Leon Lederman is a highly-decorated American experimental physicist whose research has helped understand the particles of nature and its basic forces. He began his education as a chemistry scholar but fell under the charms of physics and later became its strongest advocates. As a physicist, he is one of the main proponents of “Physics First”, a movement that aims to put physics ahead of other subjects of science, mainly chemistry and biology, in high school curriculum. He has chaired many boards namely the ‘American Physical Society’, ‘Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’, ‘JASON defense advisory group’, and ‘Society for Science & the Public’. His discovery of the “muon neutrino” and its subsequent research fetched him the Nobel Prize in Physics. He is also a noted author with his most famous book being ‘The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?’ He is a staunch atheist. In his 90s now, he has been diagnosed with dementia and is being cared for by his wife Ellen. He currently works at the Illinois Institute of Technology as the Pritzker Professor of Science.
Leon M. Lederman is a member of Scientists

Does Leon M. Lederman Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Leon M. Lederman is still alive (as per Wikipedia, Last update: May 10, 2020).

🎂 Leon M. Lederman - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

Currently, Leon M. Lederman is 101 years, 8 months and 30 days old. Leon M. Lederman will celebrate 102rd birthday on a Monday 15th of July 2024. Below we countdown to Leon M. Lederman upcoming birthday.

Popular As Leon M. Lederman
Occupation Scientists
Age 101 years old
Zodiac Sign Leo
Born July 15, 1922 (New York City, United States)
Birthday July 15
Town/City New York City, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Leon M. Lederman’s zodiac sign is Leo. According to astrologers, people born under the sign of Leo are natural born leaders. They are dramatic, creative, self-confident, dominant and extremely difficult to resist, able to achieve anything they want to in any area of life they commit to. There is a specific strength to a Leo and their "king of the jungle" status. Leo often has many friends for they are generous and loyal. Self-confident and attractive, this is a Sun sign capable of uniting different groups of people and leading them as one towards a shared cause, and their healthy sense of humor makes collaboration with other people even easier.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Leon M. Lederman was born in the Year of the Dog. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful, honest, distrustful, often guilty of telling white lies, temperamental, prone to mood swings, dogmatic, and sensitive. Dogs excel in business but have trouble finding mates. Compatible with Tiger or Horse.

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Lederman was born in New York City, New York, the son of Minna (née Rosenberg) and Morris Lederman, a laundryman. Lederman graduated from the James Monroe High School in the South Bronx. He received his bachelor's degree from the City College of New York in 1943, and received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1951. He then joined the Columbia faculty and eventually became Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics. In 1960, on leave from Columbia, he spent some 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 to teach 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 1991, Lederman became President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


After three years in the U.S. Army during World War II, he took up physics at Columbia University, and received his Masters in 1948. Lederman began his Ph.D research working with Columbia's Nevis synchro-cyclotron, which was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world at that time. Dwight D. Eisenhower, then the President of Columbia University, and Future President of the United States, cut the ribbon dedicating the synchro-cyclotron in June 1950. These atom smashers were just coming of age at this time and created the new discipline of particle physics.


After receiving his Ph.D and then becoming a faculty member at Columbia University he was promoted to full professor in 1958.


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 Leon Lederman announced that a particle with a mass of about 6.0 GeV was being produced by the Fermilab particle accelerator. The particle's initial name was the greek letter Upsilon (). 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.


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).


A former President of the American Physical Society, Lederman also received the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize and the Ernest O. Lawrence Medal. Lederman served as President of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 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.


In 1995, he received the Chicago History Museum "Making History Award" for Distinction in Science Medicine and Technology.


He is known for his sense of humor in the physics community. 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?".


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." And this was the quest he undertook. This book shows that he pursued the quark, and hoped to find the Higgs boson. The top quark, which he and other physicists realized must exist according to the standard model, was, in fact, produced at Fermilab not long after this book was published.


He has three children with his first wife, Florence Gordon, and now lives with his second wife, Ellen (Carr), in Driggs, Idaho. In May 2015 his Nobel Prize gold medal was sold for US$765,000. According to his wife Ellen, they faced the uncertainty of medical bills related to his dementia diagnosis. She noted, "It's really hard. I wish it could be different. But he's happy. He likes where he lives with cats and dogs and horses. He doesn't have any problems with anxiety, and that makes me glad that he's so content."

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