Melvin Schwartz


Melvin Schwartz

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Melvin Schwartz
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1988

Born: 2 November 1932, New York, NY, USA

Died: 28 August 2006, Twin Falls, ID, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Digital Pathways, Inc., Mountain View, CA, USA

Prize motivation: “for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino”

Prize share: 1/3


In decays of certain elementary particles, neutrinos are produced; particles that occasionally interact with matter to produce electrons. Melvin Schwartz, Leon Lederman, and Jack Steinberger managed to create a beam of neutrinos using a high-energy accelerator. In 1962, they discovered that, in some cases, instead of producing an electron, a muon (200 times heavier than an electron) was produced, proving the existence of a new type of neutrino, the muon neutrino. These particles, collectively called “leptons”, could then be systematically classified in families.

To cite this section
MLA style: Melvin Schwartz – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Thu. 28 Sep 2023. <>

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