The Nobel Prize in Physics 1969
Born: 15 September 1929, New York, NY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions"
Field: particle physics
During the 1950s and 1960s, new accelerators and experimental equipment brought many new elementary particles. In his theoretical works during the same period, Murry Gell-Mann classified particles and their interactions. He proposed that observed particles in fact are composite, made up by smaller building blocks called quarks. According to this theory new particles should exist and when these later were found the theory was generally accepted.