Martin Lewis Perl

About Martin Lewis Perl

Who is it?: Physicist
Birth Day: June 24, 1927
Birth Place: New York City, New York, United States
Alma mater: NYU-Poly and Columbia University
Known for: Tau lepton
Awards: Nobel Prize in Physics in 1995
Fields: Physics
Institutions: University of Michigan Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) University of Liverpool
Doctoral advisor: I. I. Rabi
Doctoral students: Samuel C. C. Ting, Valerie Halyo

Martin Lewis Perl

Martin Lewis Perl was born on June 24, 1927 in New York City, New York, United States, is Physicist. Martin Lewis Perl was a noted American physicist who discovered the subatomic particle, tau lepton, thus helping better understand elementary physics. For his epochal work in particle physics, he was decorated with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1995. Interestingly, today known as the prodigious child of physics, Perl wasn’t interested in pursuing research as his profession initially. Though being a bright student, he feared if he could make a living out of research in physics and opted for chemical engineering instead for a ‘brighter’ prospect. However, fate had something else in store for this born-genius who took to studying physics while working as a chemical engineer. Soon, he gained his PhD in the subject. Before taking up research work at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), Perl spent eight years at the University of Michigan. His best bit however came at SLAC where he discovered tau particle. It took several years of experiment to establish the existence of a new particle. His work which was earlier panned by the scientific society later gained acceptance and was eventually honoured with a Nobel Prize.
Martin Lewis Perl is a member of Scientists

Does Martin Lewis Perl Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Martin Lewis Perl has been died on September 30, 2014(2014-09-30) (aged 87)\nPalo Alto, California.

🎂 Martin Lewis Perl - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Martin Lewis Perl die, Martin Lewis Perl was 87 years old.

Popular As Martin Lewis Perl
Occupation Scientists
Age 87 years old
Zodiac Sign Cancer
Born June 24, 1927 (New York City, New York, United States)
Birthday June 24
Town/City New York City, New York, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

Martin Lewis Perl’s zodiac sign is Cancer. According to astrologers, the sign of Cancer belongs to the element of Water, just like Scorpio and Pisces. Guided by emotion and their heart, they could have a hard time blending into the world around them. Being ruled by the Moon, phases of the lunar cycle deepen their internal mysteries and create fleeting emotional patterns that are beyond their control. As children, they don't have enough coping and defensive mechanisms for the outer world, and have to be approached with care and understanding, for that is what they give in return.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Martin Lewis Perl was born in the Year of the Rabbit. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rabbit enjoy being surrounded by family and friends. They’re popular, compassionate, sincere, and they like to avoid conflict and are sometimes seen as pushovers. Rabbits enjoy home and entertaining at home. Compatible with Goat or Pig.

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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 in Schenectady, New York, which led to his growing interest in physics, and eventually to becoming a graduate student in physics in 1950.


He received his Ph.D. from 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 for in 1944.


Seeking a simpler interaction mechanism to study, Perl started to consider electron and muon interactions. He had the opportunity to start planning experimental work in this area when he moved in 1963 to the 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.


The tau was first detected in a series of experiments between 1974 and 1977 by Perl with his colleagues at the SLAC-LBL group. Their equipment consisted of SLAC's then-new ee 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. The tau has a lifetime of only 2.9×10 s and so these particles decayed within a few millimetres of the collision. 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:


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. 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.


Perl won the 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".


He joined University of Liverpool as a visiting professor. 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.


He died after a heart attack at Stanford University Hospital on September 30, 2014 at the age of 87.

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