Burton Richter (March 22, 1931 – July 18, 2018) was an American physicist. He led the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) team which co-discovered the J/ψ meson in 1974, alongside the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) team led by Samuel Ting for which they won Nobel Prize for Physics in 1976. This discovery was part of the so-called November Revolution of particle physics. He was the SLAC director from 1984 to 1999.
|Born||March 22, 1931|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||July 18, 2018 (aged 87)|
Stanford, California, U.S.
|Known for||J/ψ meson|
|Spouse(s)||Laurose Becker (m. 1960; 2 children)|
|Awards||E. O. Lawrence Award (1975)|
Nobel Prize in Physics (1976)
Enrico Fermi Award (2010)
|Institutions||Stanford University |
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
|Doctoral advisor||Bernard T. Feld|
A native of New York City, Richter was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, and was raised in the Queens neighborhood of Far Rockaway. His parents were Fanny (Pollack) and Abraham Richter, a textile worker. He graduated from Far Rockaway High School, a school that also produced fellow laureates Baruch Samuel Blumberg and Richard Feynman. He attended Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania, then continued on to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1952 and his PhD in 1956. He was director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) from 1984 to 1999.
As a professor at Stanford University, Richter built a particle accelerator called SPEAR (Stanford Positron-Electron Asymmetric Ring) with the help of David Ritson and the support of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. With it he led a team that discovered a new subatomic particle he called a ψ (psi). This discovery was also made by the team led by Samuel Ting at Brookhaven National Laboratory, but he called the particle J. The particle thus became known as the J/ψ meson. Richter and Ting were jointly awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.
Richter was a member of the JASON advisory group and served on the board of directors of Scientists and Engineers for America, an organization focused on promoting sound science in American government.
In 2014, Richter was among the residents of a continuing care retirement center filing a lawsuit alleging refundable entrance fees were sent out of state. This may be the first legal complaint challenging a continuing care retirement home's financial practices. At a hearing on September 9, 2014 in Federal Court, attorneys allege Richter read the contracts, saw significant problems, and is entitled to pursue a legal judgement concerning the use of his money.
Burton Richter was born in Brooklyn 55 years ago, but grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens.
Burton Richter graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1948.
| SLAC Director
Jonathan M. Dorfan
The year 1931 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.1974 in science
The year 1974 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.Baruch Samuel Blumberg
Baruch Samuel Blumberg (July 28, 1925 – April 5, 2011) — known as Barry Blumberg — was an American physician, geneticist, and co-recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (with Daniel Carleton Gajdusek), for his work on the hepatitis B virus while an investigator at the NIH. He was President of the American Philosophical Society from 2005 until his death.
Blumberg received the Nobel Prize for "discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases." Blumberg identified the hepatitis B virus, and later developed its diagnostic test and vaccine.Charm quark
The charm quark, charmed quark or c quark (from its symbol, c) is the third most massive of all quarks, a type of elementary particle. Charm quarks are found in hadrons, which are subatomic particles made of quarks. Examples of hadrons containing charm quarks include the J/ψ meson (J/ψ), D mesons (D), charmed Sigma baryons (Σc), and other charmed particles.
It, along with the strange quark is part of the second generation of matter, and has an electric charge of +2/3 e and a bare mass of 1.275+0.025−0.035 GeV/c2. Like all quarks, the charm quark is an elementary fermion with spin 1/2, and experiences all four fundamental interactions: gravitation, electromagnetism, weak interactions, and strong interactions. The antiparticle of the charm quark is the charm antiquark (sometimes called anticharm quark or simply anticharm), which differs from it only in that some of its properties have equal magnitude but opposite sign.
The existence of a fourth quark had been speculated by a number of authors around 1964 (for instance by James Bjorken and Sheldon Glashow), but its prediction is usually credited to Sheldon Glashow, John Iliopoulos and Luciano Maiani in 1970 (see GIM mechanism). The first charmed particle (a particle containing a charm quark) to be discovered was the J/ψ meson. It was discovered by a team at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), led by Burton Richter, and one at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), led by Samuel Ting.The 1974 discovery of the J/ψ (and thus the charm quark) ushered in a series of breakthroughs which are collectively known as the November Revolution.Collider
A collider is a type of particle accelerator involving directed beams of particles. Colliders may either be ring accelerators or linear accelerators, and may collide a single beam of particles against a stationary target or two beams head-on.
Colliders are used as a research tool in particle physics by accelerating particles to very high kinetic energy and letting them impact other particles. Analysis of the byproducts of these collisions gives scientists good evidence of the structure of the subatomic world and the laws of nature governing it. These may become apparent only at high energies and for tiny periods of time, and therefore may be hard or impossible to study in other ways.Enrico Fermi Award
The Enrico Fermi Award is an award honoring scientists of international stature for their lifetime achievement in the development, use, or production of energy. It is administered by the U.S. government's Department of Energy. The recipient receives $50,000, a certificate signed by the President and the Secretary of Energy, and a gold medal featuring the likeness of Enrico Fermi.Far Rockaway High School
Far Rockaway High School was a public high school in New York City, at 821 Bay 25th Street in Far Rockaway in the borough of Queens. It operated from 1897 to 2011. Its alumni include three Nobel Prize laureates and convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff.
The school was closed as part of a plan to stop students' average grades from declining. It stopped accepting students in 2008 and closed for good on June 27, 2011.Its longest-serving principal was Sanford J. Ellsworth, who served for more than 40 years; its last one was Denise J. Hallett.ISABELLE
ISABELLE (also known later as Colliding Beam Accelerator, CBA) was a 200+200 GeV proton–proton colliding beam particle accelerator partially built by the United States government at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, before it was cancelled in July, 1983.J/psi meson
The J/ψ (J/psi) meson or psion is a subatomic particle, a flavor-neutral meson consisting of a charm quark and a charm antiquark. Mesons formed by a bound state of a charm quark and a charm anti-quark are generally known as "charmonium". The J/ψ is the most common form of charmonium, due to its low rest mass. The J/ψ has a rest mass of 3.0969 GeV/c2, just above that of the ηc (2.9836 GeV/c2), and a mean lifetime of 7.2×10−21 s. This lifetime was about a thousand times longer than expected.Its discovery was made independently by two research groups, one at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, headed by Burton Richter, and one at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, headed by Samuel Ting of MIT. They discovered they had actually found the same particle, and both announced their discoveries on 11 November 1974. The importance of this discovery is highlighted by the fact that the subsequent, rapid changes in high-energy physics at the time have become collectively known as the "November Revolution". Richter and Ting were rewarded for their shared discovery with the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics.John Torrence Tate Sr.
John Torrence Tate Sr. (July 28, 1889 – May 27, 1950) was an American physicist noted for his editorship of Physical Review between 1926 and 1950. He is the father of mathematician John Torrence Tate Jr.Leonidas Resvanis
Leonidas "Leo" K. Resvanis (Greek: Λεωνίδας Ρεσβάνης; 1944 in Athens, Greece) is a physicist known for his work with neutrinos. He is a Professor of Physics at the University of Athens and the director of the Nestor Project.He is also the person who suggested to Burton Richter that Richter's new discovery be named the "psi" particle.List of Chinese Nobel laureates
Since 1957, there have been eight Chinese (including Chinese-born) winners of the Nobel Prize. The Nobel Prize is a Sweden-based international monetary prize. The award was established by the 1895 will and estate of Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel. It was first awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace in 1901. An associated prize, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, was instituted by Sweden's central bank in 1968 and first awarded in 1969.
Following is a list of Nobel laureates who have been citizens of the Republic of China or the People's Republic of China and of overseas birth.List of Jewish American physicists
This is a list of famous Jewish American physicists.
For other famous Jewish Americans, see List of Jewish Americans.
Alexei Abrikosov, condensed matter physics, Nobel Prize (2003) (Jewish mother; naturalized citizen)
Ralph Alpher, background radiation, nucleosynthesis
John N. Bahcall, astrophysicist
Hans Bethe, nuclear physicist, Nobel Prize (1967) (Jewish mother)
Felix Bloch, nuclear physicist, Nobel Prize (1952) (naturalized citizen)
David Bohm, quantum physicist, philosopher of science
Niels Bohr, physicist
Gregory Breit, physicist
Samuel T. Cohen, physicist
Mildred Dresselhaus, physicist, National Medal Of Science, Kavli Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom (Jewish)
Albert Einstein (German), theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize (1921) (naturalized citizen)
Jeremy England, biophysicist
Paul Sophus Epstein, theoretical physicist, quantum mechanics
Herman Feshbach, nuclear physicist
Richard P. Feynman, physicist, Nobel Prize (1965) (though he always refused to appear in lists such as this one and other lists or books that classified people by race )
David Finkelstein, physicist
James Franck, physicist, Nobel Prize (1925)
Edward Fredkin, digital physicist
Jerome Friedman, physicist, Nobel Prize (1990)
Murray Gell-Mann, quarks, Nobel Prize (1969)
Donald A. Glaser, bubble chamber, Nobel Prize (1960)
Sheldon Glashow, physicist, Nobel Prize (1979)
Roy Glauber, physicist, Nobel Prize (2005)
Herbert Goldstein, Columbia physicist, author of standard textbook on classical mechanics
Samuel Goudsmit, electron spin
Brian Greene, string theorist
David Gross, string theorist, Nobel Prize (2004)
Alan Guth, cosmic inflation
Eugene Guth, polymer physics, nuclear physics, solid state physics
Robert Herman, cosmology, background radiation, operations research
Robert Hofstadter, physicist, Nobel Prize (1961)
Robert Jastrow, physicist, astronomer, cosmologist
Herman Kahn, nuclear physicist
Theodore von Kármán, aeronautical engineer
Joseph B. Keller, mathematical physics, wave propagation, National Medal Of Science, Wolf Prize
Daniel Kleppner, atomic research
Walter Kohn, physicist, Nobel Prize (1998)
Rudolf Kompfner, engineer and physicist
Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist and cosmologist
Cornelius Lanczos, mathematical physicist
Rolf Landauer, physicist, information theory
Leon M. Lederman, physicist, Nobel Prize (1988)
David Morris Lee, superfluidity, Nobel Prize (1996)
Fritz London, quantum chemistry
Theodore Maiman, first operable laser
Albert A. Michelson, speed of light, Nobel Prize (1907)
Alexander Migdal, theoretical high energy physics (naturalized citizen)
Ben Roy Mottelson, physicist, Nobel Prize (1975)
Frank Oppenheimer, nuclear physicist (brother of Robert)
Robert Oppenheimer, nuclear physicist (brother of Frank)
Douglas D. Osheroff, superfluidity, Nobel Prize (1996)
Jeremiah P. Ostriker, astrophysicist
Abraham Pais, historian of science
Wolfgang Pauli, nuclear physicist, Nobel Prize (1945) (Jewish father, half-Jewish mother; naturalized citizen)
Arno Allan Penzias, background radiation, Nobel Prize (1978)
Martin Lewis Perl, physicist, Nobel Prize (1995)
H. David Politzer, physicist, Nobel Prize (2004)
Alexander Polyakov, theoretical high energy physics (naturalized citizen)
Martin Pope, physical chemist, Davy Medal (2006)
Isidor Isaac Rabi, physicist, Nobel Prize (1944) (naturalized citizen)
Simon Ramo, physicist, engineer
Mark G. Raizen, physicist, quantum physics
Sidney Redner, statistical physics
L. Rafael Reif, Venezuelan-born American electrical engineer, president of MIT
Frederick Reines, neutrino experiment, Nobel Prize (1995)
Burton Richter, physicist, Nobel Prize (1976)
Carl Sagan, astronomer and science popularizer
Arthur Schawlow, laser spectroscopy, Nobel Prize (1981) (Jewish father)
Melvin Schwartz, physicist, Nobel Prize (1988)
John Schwarz, string theorist
Julian Schwinger, quantum physicist, Nobel Prize (1965)
Emilio G. Segrè, anti-proton, Nobel Prize (1959) (naturalized citizen)
Mikhail Shifman, theoretical particle physics (naturalized citizen)
Michael F. Shlesinger
Lee Smolin, loop quantum gravity
Alan Sokal, Sokal affair
H. Eugene Stanley, econophysics, phase transitions, critical phenomena
Jack Steinberger, physicist, Nobel Prize (1988)
Otto Stern, physicist, Nobel Prize (1943)
Andrew Strominger, string theory
Leonard Susskind, string theory (Jewish father)
Leó Szilárd, nuclear physicist (naturalized citizen)
Edward Teller, nuclear physicist
Arkady Vainshtein, theoretical high energy physics (naturalized citizen)
Alexander Vilenkin, cosmology (naturalized citizen)
Steven Weinberg, electroweak force, Nobel Prize (1979)
Victor Frederick Weisskopf (1908–2002), physicist; during World War II, he worked at Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb, and later campaigned against the proliferation of nuclear weapons
Eugene Wigner, quantum physicist, Nobel Prize (1963)
Edward Witten, mathematical physicist, Fields Medal (1990), founder of M-Theory, only physicist to win Fields Medal, and currently the driving force behind theoretical/mathematical physics
George Zweig, quarksMIT Physics Department
The Physics Department at MIT has over 120 faculty members. It offers academic programs leading to the SB, SM, PhD, and ScD degrees.
As of 2018, the department counts five Nobel Prize winners among its faculty: Samuel C.C. Ting (1976), Jerome I. Friedman (1990), Wolfgang Ketterle (2001), Frank Wilczek (2004) and Rainer Weiss (2017). A few other former faculty members have also been so honored: Clifford Shull (1994), Henry Kendall (1990), Steven Weinberg (1979) and Charles H. Townes (1964). MIT Physics alumni who have received the Nobel Prize for Physics are Adam Riess (2011), George Smoot (2006), Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman (2001), Robert B. Laughlin (1998), William D. Phillips (1997), Burton Richter (1976), John Robert Schrieffer (1972), Murray Gell-Mann (1969), Richard Feynman (1965) and William Shockley (1956).Mildred Dresselhaus
Mildred Dresselhaus (née Spiewak; November 11, 1930 – February 20, 2017), known as the "queen of carbon science", was an Institute Professor and Professor Emerita of physics and electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dresselhaus won numerous awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, the Enrico Fermi Award and the Vannevar Bush Award.SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, originally named Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, is a United States Department of Energy National Laboratory operated by Stanford University under the programmatic direction of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and located in Menlo Park, California.
SLAC research centers on a broad program in atomic and solid-state physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine using X-rays from synchrotron radiation and a free-electron laser as well as experimental and theoretical research in elementary particle physics, astroparticle physics, and cosmology.Samuel C. C. Ting
Samuel Chao Chung Ting (born January 27, 1936) is a Chinese-American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 1976, with Burton Richter, for discovering the subatomic J/ψ particle. He is the founder and principal investigator for the international $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment which was installed on the International Space Station on 19 May 2011.Timeline of particle physics
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.Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky
Wolfgang Kurt Hermann "Pief" Panofsky (April 24, 1919 – September 24, 2007), was a German-American physicist who won many awards including the National Medal of Science.