Leon Lederman (New York, 15 July 1922 – Rexburg, Idaho, 3 October 2018)

Advisory member of ISA, Leon Max Lederman (96)  passed away on 3 October, 2018.

He used to be a member of ISA since its foundation. He received the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1982 (shared), for the research on quarks and leptons, and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988 (shared),” for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino“. He was awarded (2012) the Vannevar Bush Award “for his extraordinary contributions to understanding the basic forces and particles of nature”.

I met him in Washington, D.C. (1983), and beyond his deep knowledge in (and outside) physics, I admired his smart personality. In the recent decades (1979-), he was director, and spiritus rector for long, of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Illinois up to his formal retirement, although he has not closed his contacts with that institution until his health allowed.

His distinguished interest in the role that symmetries play in particle physics was a leading principle of his discoveries, experimental methods, and can be traced in his writings. The most outstanding among his achievements are the discovery of the muon neutrino in 1962 and the bottom quark in 1977. His most popular book, The God Particle, brought him publicity even among non-physicists, where, among others, he explained the relationship between spontaneous symmetry breaking and the mysterious Higgs boson. That book explains many secrets of symmetries in contemporary particle physics for laymen in physics. This made him so much acknowledged by many members of the Symmetry Association. ISA keeps his memory.

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