Murray Gell-Mann becomes Associate Professor at the California Institute of Technology. He becomes Professor in 1956 and is Robert Millikan Professor from 1967 to 1993. One of reasons for going to Caltech is the prospect to work with R. Feynman. They collaborate for about five years. In 1958, they put forward the influential V-A theory of weak interactions. Gell-Mann spends here 27 years till his retirement in 1993, when he becomes Millikan Professor Emeritus.
Murray Gell-Mann marries J. Margaret Dow in Princeton on April 19, 1955, and immediately drives out to Caltech.
Murray Gell-Mann attends Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. He is considered a child prodigy in various subjects, which gives him the possibility to build a scholarly career in different areas. He graduates valedictorian when he is just 14 years old.
Murray Gell-Mann is Overseas Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, England.
Murray Gell-Mann spends a postdoctoral period at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, then directed by J. Robert Oppenheimer. In this period, he develops insights in the application of novel theoretical tools - such as the Feynman diagrams - as well as to direct his attention to the most problematic theoretical issues. Oppenheimer suggests him to focus on the theoretical explanation of the numerous particles that are being discovered.
Murray Gell-Mann is Professor and Distinguished Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico - a non-profit theoretical research institute for the study of complex systems. Gell-Mann is one of the co-founders of the Institute.
In 1960, Murray Gell-Mann begins to work on the classification of hadrons. Gell-Mann recognizes that spin ½ nucleons N and hyperons form an octet representation of SU(3), and the same is for mesons. Gell-Mann calls his classification the "Eightfold way" as an ironic reference to the Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Gell-Mann predicts the existence of the particle Ω-, which is observed in 1964 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Such classification is now called SU(3) flavour symmetry.
In 1955, Murray Gell-Mann comes back to the Institute for Advanced Study, partly because his fiancée is working there.
Murray Gell-Mann is Visitor at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.
Although Gell-Mann favours natural history and archaeology, he follows his father’s suggestion and applies for the Medill McCormick scholarship to study physics at Yale University – scholarship that he wins. He becomes a member of the Jonathan Edwards College at the age of 15. He is fascinated by relativity and quantum mechanics, as well as by the lectures of the physicist and philosopher of science Henry Margenau. He obtains his Bachelor's degree in Physics in 1948 at the age of 18.
Murray Gell-Mann is Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Murray Gell-Mann is member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, USA.
Murray Gell-Mann is Visiting Professor at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland.
Gell-Mann is born in New York City on the 15th of September 1929 from Jewish parents both emigrated from the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire around the beginning of the 20th century. His father, Arthur Gell-Mann, is profoundly fascinated by natural sciences, especially physics, mathematics and astronomy.
Murray Gell-Mann is postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Gell-Mann is attracted to the University of Illinois because Wheeler Loomis pays summer salaries—about the only source of summer money for theorists at the time. In this period, Gell-Mann formulates with Francis Low the Gell-Mann-Low theorem in quantum field theory relating the ground state of an interacting system to the ground state of the corresponding non-interacting theory.
Murray Gell-Mann is Visiting Associate Professor at Columbia University, where he is asked to join the faculty.
Murray Gell-Mann is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1969 "for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions."
Murray Gell-Mann is offered a position as instructor at the University of Chicago. Gell-Mann is promoted very soon to assistant professor and in 1952 to associate professor with tenure. In this period, he collaborates with Marvin “Murph” Goldberger on the quantum field theory of the pion-nucleon interaction. In 1953, this work leads Gell-Mann to introduce a new quantum number, which will be later called strangeness.
The same year of the discovery of the Ω- particle, Gell-Mann makes another fundamental contribution to the classification of hadrons: independently of his former student George Zweig, Gell-Mann proposes that strongly interacting particles might be formed of smaller fractionally charged particles, which he calls quarks. Quarks are now considered essential constituents of our theoretical models of particle physics.
Murray Gell-Mann wins a full scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he pursues his graduate studies in theoretical physics under the supervision of Viktor “Viki” Weisskopf. Weisskopf advises Gell-Mann not to focus only on fundamental questions, but to work on as many problems as possible in which he can learn how to successfully apply theoretical techniques. This advice will have an impact on Gell-Mann's approach to problems in physics.
Murray Gell-Mann is research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here, Gell-Mann and Low produce an important work on the renormalization group for quantum electrodynamics. The renormalization group will become fundamental in the late 1960s after the application of this concept to condensed matter physics made by K. Wilson and others.