SciFri Extra: Remembering Murray Gell-Mann

A 1994 conversation with Nobel physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who died recently at the age of 89.

murray gell-mann, an older man with white hair and glasses, standing in front of a blackboard with equations
Murray Gell-Mann in Nice, France, July 2012. Credit: Melirius, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Physicist Murray Gell-Mann died recently at the age of 89. He received the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles, and is credited with giving quarks their name. But he was known for more than just physics—he was a co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, and a champion of creativity and interdisciplinary research.  

One of his biggest interests was exploring the “chain of relationships”  that connects basic physical laws and the subatomic world to the complex systems that we can see, hear, and experience. He joined Ira in 1994 to discuss those chains, the topic of his book “The Quark and the Jaguar.”

Meet the Writer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director and senior producer, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.

Explore More

SciFri Extra: Picturing A Black Hole

The Event Horizon Telescope aims to take an image of a black hole. In this archival interview, astronomers describe the project's methods and goals.

Read More