GELL-MANN, MURRAY / Physics / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research




Distinguished Fellow
Santa Fe Institute
Santa Fe, New Mexico

R.A. Millikan Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California

Research interests

In 1969, Professor Gell-Mann received the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. Professor Gell-Mann's "eightfold way" theory brought order to the chaos created by the discovery of some 100 particles in the atom's nucleus. Then he found that all of those particles, including the neutron and proton, are composed of fundamental building blocks that he named "quarks." The quarks are permanently confined by forces coming from the exchange of "gluons." He and others later constructed the quantum field theory of quarks and gluons, called "quantum chromodynamics," which seems to account for all the nuclear particles and their strong interactions.

Although he is a theoretical physicist, Professor Gell-Mann's interests extend to many other subjects, including natural history, historical linguistics, archaeology, history, depth psychology, and creative thinking, all subjects connected with biological evolution, cultural evolution, and learning and thinking. He is also concerned about policy matters related to world environmental quality (including conservation of biological diversity), restraint in population growth, sustainable economic development, and stability of the world political system. His recent research at the Santa Fe Institute has focused on the subject of complex adaptive systems, which brings all these areas of study together.

Prizes and awards

c.D.(h.c.), Yale University, 1959
Dannie Heineman Prize of American Physical Society, 1959
Ernest O. Lawrence Award, 1966
Sc.D.(h.c.), University of Chicago, 1967
Franklin Medal, Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, 1967
John J. Carty Medal, National Academy of Sciences, 1968
Sc.D.(h.c.), University of Illinois, 1968
Sc.D.(h.c.), Wesleyan University, 1968
Research Corporation Award, 1969
Honorary Doctorate, University of Turin, Italy, 1969
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1969
Sc.D.(h.c.), University of Utah, 1970
Sc.D.(h.c.), Columbia University, 1977
Sc.D.(h.c.), Cambridge University, England, 1980
United Nations Environment Program Roll of Honor for Environmental
Achievement (The Global 500), 1988
Erice Prize, 1990
Sc.D.(h.c.), Oxford University, 1992
Sc.D.(h.c.), Southern Illinois University, 1993
Sc.D.(h.c.), Doctorate of Natural Resources, University of Florida, 1994
Sc.D.(h.c.), Southern Methodist University, 1999

He is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Effective Complexity, with S. Lloyd, in Nonextensive Entropy: Interdisciplinary Applications, M. Gell-Mann and C. Tsallis, Eds., Oxford University Press, New York, (2004)

Regularities and randomness: Evolving schemata in science and the arts, in Art and Complexity, J. Casti and A. Karlqvist, Eds., Elsevier Science, pp. 47 - 58, (2003)

Plectics: The study of simplicity and complexity, europhysics news, Vol. 33 no. 1, pp. 17 - 20 (2002)

"What is Complexity?," in Alberto Quadrio Curzio and Marco Fortis (eds.), Complexity and Industrial Clusters: Dynamics and Models in Theory and Practice. (Heidelberg, Germany: Physica-Verlag, 2002). pp. 13 - 24.

"Consciousness, Reduction and Emergence: Some Remarks," in Pedro C. Marijuán (ed.), Cajal and Consciousness: Scientific Approaches to Consciousness on the Centennial of Ramón y Cajal's Textura. (New York, NY: The New York Academy of Sciences, 2001). pp. 41-49.

"Simplicity and Complexity," In S.M. Fitzpatrick and J.T. Bruer, (Eds.), Carving Our Destiny: Scientific Research Faces a New Millennium, (Joseph Henry Press, Washington, D.C., 2001) pp. 305-311.

Contribution to "Science, Technology and the Natural Environment." In The Great Conversation, (The Aspen Institute, 2000) pp. 76-77.

"Pulling Diamonds from the Clay," in Peter J. Denning (ed.), Talking Back to the Machine: Computers and Human Aspiration. (New York, NY: Copernicus, 1999). pp. 155-168.

The Garden of Live Flowers in V. Stefan (ed.), Physics and Society: Essays in Honor of Victor Frederick Weisskopf by the International Community of Physicists. (Springer-Verlag 1998). pp. 109-121.

Quarks, Color and QCD in L. Hoddeson, L. Brown, M. Riordan and M. Dresden, eds., The Rise of the Standard Model: Particle Physics in the 1960s and 1970s, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997). pp. 625-633.

Fundamental Sources of Unpredictability: An accidental journey, Complexity, Vol. 3, no. 1, 9-13 (1997).

Strong Decoherence (with J.B. Hartle) in D.H. Feng and B.L. Hu (eds.), Quantum Classical Correspondence: The 4th Drexel Symposium on Quantum Nonintegrability. (International Press: Cambridge, MA, 1997) pp. 3-35. Conference held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, Sept. 8-11, 1994.

The Simple and the Complex, in D.S. Alberts and T.J. Czerwinski (eds.), Complexity, Global Politics, and National Security, (Washington, DC: National Defense University, 1997), pp. 3-28.

"Informazione" Versus conoscenza e comprensione, Italian translation of "Information" Versus Knowledge and Understanding, in DallÕinformazione alla cultura. Proceedings of the 3rd annual conference "Ten Nobels for the Future", Milan, December 1995 (Venezia: Marsilio, 1996), pp. 91-105.

Information Measures, Effective Complexity, and Total Information (with S. Lloyd), Complexity, Vol. 2, no. 1, 44-52 (1996).

Indirect Approaches to Fundamental Theory, in History of Original Ideas and basic Discoveries in Particle Physics, H. Newman and T. Ypsilantis (eds.) Plenum: London. (NATO Asi Series. Series B, Physics, Vol 352, 1996).

Reminiscences. Philosophical Magazine B, Vol. 74, No. 5, (1996), pp. 431-434.
115 Let's Call it Plectics, Complexity Journal, Vol. 1/ No. 5 (1995/96).

Nature Conformable to Herself, Complexity, Vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 9-12 (1995/96).
113 What is Complexity? Complexity, Vol. 1, no. 1 (1995) pp. 16-19.

Afterword, in Last of the Curlews by F. Bodsworth. (Washington, DC: Counterpoint, 1995) pp. 129-171.

Understanding Complexity in the Prehistoric Southwest, in G.J. Gumerman and M. Gell-Mann (eds.), SFI Studies in the Sciences of Complexity. Proceedings Vol. XVI (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1994), pp. 3-14.

Complex Adaptive Systems, in G.A. Cowan, D. Pines, and D. Meltzer (eds.), Complexity: Metaphors, Models, and Reality, Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Proc. Vo. XIX (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1994), pp. 17-45.

The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex (New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Co., 1994).

Cultural Evolution in the Prehistoric Southwest, (with G.J. Gumerman), in G.J. Gumerman (ed.), Themes in the Southwestern Prehistory (Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1993) pp. 2-31.

Classical Equations for Quantum Systems (with J.B. Hartle), Phys. Rev. 47, 8 (1993).
106 Nature Conformable to Herself, Bulletin of the Santa Fe Institute, vol. 7 no. 1, pp. 7-10. (Spring-Summer 1992).

Visions of a Sustainable World, Engineering and Science, a publication of the California Institute of Technology, Vol. LV, No. 3 (Spring 1992) pp. 5-10.

Complexity and Complex Adaptive Systems, in J.A. Hawkins and M. Gell-Mann (eds.), The Evolution of Human Languages. SFI Studies in the Sciences of Complexity. Proceedings, Vol. XI, (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1992) pp. 3-18.

Time Symmetry and Asymmetry in Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Cosmology (with J.B. Hartle), in J. Halliwell, J. Perez-Mercador, and W. Zurek (eds.), Proceedings of the NATO Workshop on the Physical Origin of Time Asymmetry, Mazagon, Spain, October 1991 (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1992) pp. 311-342.

Alternative Decohering Histories in Quantum Mechanics (with J.B. Hartle) in Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on High Energy Physics: 2-8 August, 1990, (South East Asia Theoretical Physics Association, Physical Society of Japan; Teaneck, NJ) vol. 2, pp. 1303-10 (1991).

The Global Commons: Preservation of Cultural Diversity, Aspen Quarterly Vol. 2, No. 1 (Winter 1990) pp. 59-65.

Progress in Elementary Particle Theory 1950 Ð 1964 in L. Brown, M. Dresden, and L. Hoddeson, eds., Pions to Quarks: Particle Physics in the 1950s, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 694-711.

Quantum Mechanics in the Light of Quantum Cosmology (with J.B. Hartle), Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on the Fundations of Quantum Mechanics in the Light of New Technology, Tokyo, Japan (August 1989), pp. 321-343.

Dick Feynman Ð The Guy In the Office Down the Hall, Physics Today 42, no. 2, 50-54, (February 1989).

Is the Whole World Composed of Superstrings?, in K. Winter (ed.), Festi-Val - Festschrift for Val Telegdi (New York, NY: Elsevier Science Publications, 1988), pp. 119-140.

Simplicity and Complexity in the Description of Nature, Engineering and Science, a publication of the California Institute of Technology, vol. LI, no.3 (Spring 1988), pp. 3-9.

The Concept of the Institute, in D. Pines (ed.), Emerging Syntheses in Science (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1987), pp. 1-15.

Particle Theory from S-Matrix to Quarks, in M.G. Doncel, A. Hermann, L. Michel, and A. Pais (eds.), Symmetries in Physics (1600-1980). Proceedings of the First International Meeting on the History of Scientific Ideas (Barcelona: Bellaterra, 1987), pp. 474-497.

Superstring Theory, Closing Talk at the 67th Nobel Symposium in Unification of fundamental interactions: Proceedings of Nobel Symposium 67, Marstrand, Sweden, June 2-7. 1986, (Stockhold, Sweden: Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1987). Series: Physica Scripta T15 0281-1847.

Supergravity and Superstrings, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 461, 325-335 (1986).

From Renormalizability to Calculability, Shelter Island II. Proceedings of the 1983 Shelter Island Conference on Quantum Field Theory and Fundamental Problems of Physics (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1985), pp. 3-23.

Supergravity and Superstrings, in T. Goldman and M. Martin Nieto (eds.), Proceedings of the Santa Fe Meeting. First Annual Meeting (New Series) of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society, (Philadelphia, PA: World Scientific, 1985), pp. 115-119.

Dimensional Reduction of Space-Time Induced by Non-Linear Scalar Dynamics and Noncompact Extra Dimensions (with B. Zwiebach), Nucl. Phys. B260, 569 (1985).

Space-Time Compactification Induced by Scalars (with B. Zwiebach), Phys. Lett. 141B, no. 5-6, pp. 333-336 (1984).

Curling up Two Spatial Dimensions with SU(1.1)/U(1) (with B. Zwiebach), Phys. Lett. 147B, 111 (1984).

Strangeness, Proceedings of the International Conference on the History of Particle Physics, Paris, July 1982; J. Physique 43, 395-408 (1982).

Summary Talk, in Y. Ne'eman (ed.), To Fulfill a Vision: Jersulaem Einstein Centennial Symposium on Guage Theories and Unification of Physical Forces, (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1981), pp. 257-266.

Questions for the Future, 8th Wolfson Lecture, in J.H. Mulvey (ed.), The Nature of Matter (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1980), pp. 169-198.

Complex Spinors and Unified Theories, (with P. Ramond and R. Slansky), in P. van Niuwenhuizen and D.Z. Freedman (eds.), Supergravity: Proceedings of the Supergravity Workshop at Stony Brook, September 27-29, 1979 (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Co., 1979), pp. 315-321.

Prepotentials in Superspace Formulation of Supergravity (with L. Brink, P. Ramond, and J. Schwarz), Nucl. Phys. B 145, 93 (1978).

Extended Supergravity as Geometry of Superspace (with L. Brink, P. Ramond, and J. Schwarz), Phys. Lett. 76B, 417 (1978).

Supergravity as Geometry of Superspace (with L. Brink, P. Ramond, and J. Schwarz), Phys. Lett. 76B, 417 (1978).

Color Embedding, Charge Assignments, and Proton Stability in Unified Gauge Theories (with P. Ramond and R. Slansky), Rev. Mod. Phys. 50, 721 (1978).

Vectorlike Weak Currents and New Elementary Fermions (with H. Fritzsch and P. Minkowsky), Phys. Lett. 59B, 256 (1975).

Advantages of the Color Octet Gluon Picture (with H. Fritzsch and H. Leutwyler), Phys. Lett. 47B, 365 (1973).

Current Algebra: Quarks and What Else? (with H. Fritzsch), Proceedings of the XVI International Conference on High Energy Physics, Vol. 2, CERN, Geneva (1973), pp. 135-165.

Light Cone Current Algebra, p¡ Decay, and e+e- Annihilation (with W.A. Bardeen and H. Fritzsch), Scale and Conformal Symmetry in Hadron Physics (New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1973), pp. 139-151.

Quarks: Developments in The Quark Theory of Hadrons, Acta Phys. Austriaca 9, 733-761 (1972).

Light Cone Current Algebra (with H. Fritzsch), Proceedings of the International Conference on Duality and Symmetry in Hadron Physics (Jerusalem:Weizmann Science Press of Israel, 1971), pp. 317-374.

How Scientists Can Really Help, Physics Today, no. 24, 23-25, (May 1971).

Scale Invariance and the Light Cone (with H. Fritzsch), Proceedings of the 1971 Coral Gables Conference on Fundamental Interactions at High Energy (1971), pp. 1-53.

The Value of Schemes in Scientific Theory, Atti del Convegno Mendeleeviano, periodicita e simmetrie nella struttura elementare della materia, Torino-Roma 15-21 settembre 1969. (Torino: Accademia Delle scienze di Torino, Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, 1969), pp. 317-325.

Symmetry Violation in Hadron Physics, Hawaii Topical Conference in Particle Physics, Vol. 1 (1970), pp.168-188.

Summary of the Symposium, Nobel Symposium No. 8, Elementary Particle Theory, Relativistic Groups and Analyticity (Stockholm: Almquist and Wiksell, 1968), pp. 387-399.

Certain Theories of CP-Violation, Coral Gables Conference on Fundamental Interactions at High Energy (Amsterdam: The Gordon and Breach Publishing Group, 1969), pp. 380-391.

Behavior of Current Divergences under SU3 x SU3 (with R.J. Oakes and B. Renner), Phys. Rev. 175, 2195 (1968).
65 Theory of Weak Interactions (with M.L. Goldberger, N.M. Kroll, and F.E. Low), Phys. Rev. 179, 1518 (1969).

Present Status of the Fundamental Interactions, Hadrons and Their Interactions (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1968), pp. 689-701.

Recent Work on Representation of Current Algebra, Hadrons and Their Interactions (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1968), pp. 169-201.

Representation of Current Algebra at Infinite Momentum: Solution of the Case in Which Isotopic Spin Factors Out (with D. Horn and J. Weyers), Proceedings of Heidelberg International Conference on Elementary Particles, (Amsterdam: N. Holland Publishing Company, 1968), pp. 479-495.

Elementary Particles, Proceedings of the Royal Institution, 41, no. 189 (1966).

(1) Current Algebras; (2) Relativistic Quark Model as Representation of Current Algebra, Strong and Weak Interactions, Present Problems (New York, NY: Academic Press, 1966), pp. 173-201; 202-234.

Current Topics in Particle Physics, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on High-Energy Physics (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1967).

Representation of Local Current Algebra at Infinite Momentum (with R.F. Dashen), Phys. Rev. Lett. 17, 340 (1966).

Algebra of Current Components at Infinite Momentum (with R.F. Dashen), Coral Gables Conferences on Symmetry Principles at High Energy (New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Co., 1966), pp. 168-189.

Series of Hadron Energy Levels as Representations of Non-Compact Groups (with Y. Dothan and Y. NeÕeman), Phys. Lett. 17, 148 (1965).

Application of the Algebra of Current Components (with R.F. Dashen), Phys. Lett. 17, 145 (1965).

Approximate Symmetry and the Algebra of Current Components (with R.F. Dashen), Phys. Lett. 17, 142 (1965).

Angular Momentum and the Algebra of Current Components, Phys. Rev. Lett. 14, 77 (1965).

The Group U(6) x U(6) Generated by Current Components (with R.P. Feynman and G. Zweig), Phys. Rev. Lett. 13, 678 (1964).

A Theory of Strong Interaction Symmetry, in M. Gell-Mann and Y. NeÕeman (eds.) The Eightfold Way, New York, NY: W.A. Benjamin, Inc. (1964).

Octet Enhancement (with R.F. Dashen, S.C. Frautschi, and Y. Hara), International High Energy Conference at Dubna, USSR (1964).

Current-Generated Algebras (with Y. NeÕeman), Ann. Phys. 30, 360 (1964).

The Vacuum Trajectory in Conventional Field Theory (with M.L. Goldberger and F.E. Low), Rev. Mod. Phys. 36, 640 (1964).

The Symmetry Group of Vector and Axial Vector Currents, Physics 1, 63 (1964).

A Vector-Spinor Bootstrap as an Identity (with F. Zachariasen), Phys. Lett. 10, 129 (1964).

Nonleptonic Weak Decays and the Eightfold Way, Phys. Rev. Lett. 12, 155 (1964).

A Schematic Model of Baryons and Mesons, Phys. Lett. 8, 214 (1964).

Strongly Interacting Particles (with G.F. Chew and A.H. Rosenfeld), Scientific American (Feb. 1964), pp. 74-80.

Elementary Particles of Conventional Field Theory as Regge Poles IV (with M.L. Goldberger, F.E. Low, V. Singh, and F. Zachariasen), Phys. Rev. 133, B161 (1964).

Elementary Particles of Conventional Field Theory as Regge Poles III (with M.L. Goldberger, F.E. Low, E. Marx, and F. Zachariasen), Phys. Rev. 133, B145 (1964).

Elementary Particles of Conventional Field Theory as Regge Poles II (with M.L. Goldberger, F.E. Low, and F. Zachariasen), Phys. Lett. 4, 265 (1963).

Elementary Particles of Conventional Field Theory as Regge Poles (with M.L. Goldberger), Phys. Rev. Lett. 9, 275 (1962).

High Energy Nuclear Scattering and Regge Poles (with B.M. Udgaonkar), Phys. Rev. Lett. 8, 346 (1962).

Factorization of Coupling to Regge Poles, Phys. Rev. Lett. 8, 263 (1962).

Decay Rates of Neutral Mesons (with D. Sharp and W.G. Wagner), Phys. Rev. Lett. 8, 261 (1962).

Experimental Consequences of the Hypothesis of Regge Poles (with S.C. Frautschi and F. Zachariasen), Phys. Rev. 126, 2204 (1962).

Symmetries of Baryons and Mesons, Phys. Rev. 125, 1067 (1962).

Symmetry Properties of Fields, Proceedings of Solvay Congress (1961).

Gauge Theories of Vector Particles (with S.L. Glashow), Ann. Phys. 15, 437 (1961).

Form Factors and Vector Mesons (with F. Zachariasen), Phys. Rev. 124, 953 (1961).

Broken Symmetries and Bare Coupling Constants (with F. Zachariasen), Phys. Rev. 123, 1065 (1961).

The Reaction g + g ® n + n, Phys. Rev. Lett. 6, 70 (1961).

On the Decay Rate of the Charged Pion (with J. Bernstein, S. Fubini, and W. Thirring), Nuovo Cimento 17, 757 (1960).

The Axial Vector Current in Beta Decay (with M. LÕevy), Nuovo Cimento 16, 705 (1960).

On the Renormalization of the Axial Vector Coupling Constant in b-Decay (with J. Bernstein and L. Michel), Nuovo Cimento 16, 560 (1960).

Status of Weak Interactions, Rev. Mod. Phys. 31, 834 (1959).

Electromagnetic Corrections to the B12 - N12 b-Spectrum Ratio (with S.M. Berman), Phys. Rev. Lett. 3, 99 (1959).

Problems of the Strange Particles (with R.P. Feynman), Proceedings of the 2nd Geneva Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy (1958).

Test of the Nature of the Vector Interaction in b-Decay, Phys. Rev. 111, 362 (1958).

Theory of the Fermi Interaction (with R.P. Feynman), Phys. Rev. 109, 193 (1958).

Elementary Particles (with E.P. Rosenbaum), Scientific American (July 1957), pp. 72-86.
19 Heavy Mesons and Hyperons (with A.H. Rosenfeld), Annual Reviews of Nuclear Science, pp. 407-478 (1957).

Model of Strong Couplings, Phys. Rev. 106, 1296 (1957).

Specific Heat of a Degenerate Electron Gas at High Density (with K.A. Brueckner), Phys. Rev. 106, 369 (1957).

Correlation Energy of an Electron Gas at High Density (with K.A. Brueckner), Phys. Rev. 106, 364 (1957).

Change of Isotopic Spin in the Kp2 Decay, Nuovo Cimento 5, 758 (1957).

The Interpretation of the New Particles as Displaced Charged Multiplets, Nuovo Cimento Suppl. 4, 848 (1956).

The Behavior of Neutral Particles Under Charge Conjugation (with A. Pais), Phys. Rev. 97, 1387 (1955).

The Interactions between Pi-Mesons and Nucleons (with K.M. Watson), Annual Reviews of Nuclear Science, pp. 219-270 (1954).

Theoretical Views on the New Particles (with A. Pais), Proceedings of the Glasgow International Conference on Nuclear Physics, pp. 342-350 (1954).

On the Scattering of g-Rays with Nucleons (with M.L. Goldberger), The proceedings of the 1954 Glasgow Conference on Nuclear Physics and Mesons, pp. 267-271 (1954).

The Scattering of Low Energy Photons by Particles of Spin 1/2 (with M.L. Goldberger), Phys. Rev. 96, 1433 (1954).

Use of Causality Conditions in Quantum Theory (with M.L. Goldberger and W. E. Thirring), Phys. Rev. 95, 1612 (1954).

Quantum Electrodynamics at Small Distances (with F.E. Low), Phys. Rev. 95, 1300 (1954).

The Giant Nuclear Resonance (with M. Ferentz and D. Pines), Phys. Rev. 92, 836 (1953).

Istopic Spin and New Unstable Particles, Phys. Rev. 92, 833-834 (1953).

Formal Theory of Scattering (with M.L. Goldberger), Phys. Rev. 91, 398 (1953).

Consequences of Charge Independence for Nuclear Reactions Involving Photons (with V.L. Telegdi), Phys. Rev. 91, 169 (1953).

On the Damping of Virtual Nucleon-Pair Formation in Pseudoscalar Meson Theory (with K.A. Brueckner and M.L. Goldberger), Phys. Rev. 90, 476 (1953).

Bound States in Quantum Field Theory (with F.E. Low), Phys. Rev. B84, 350 (1951).

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