ADVERTISEMENT
See Inside Scientific American Volume 307, Issue 5

Of Quarks and (Presidential) Men

Three quarks for muster mark! Sure he hasn't got much of a bark And sure any he has it's all beside the mark. —James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

As he later explained in his 1995 book The Quark and the Jaguar, physicist Murray Gell-Mann had the sound of his theorized particle in mind before discovering the spelling he would eventually adopt from a book James Joyce published in 1939. “The number three fitted perfectly the way quarks occur in nature,” Gell-Mann wrote, referring to how three quarks make up a proton, itself a component, along with the electron and neutron, of atoms. Although George Zweig, who also theorized this fundamental particle in 1964, preferred the term “ace,” quark eventually stuck.

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content


It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on nature.com.
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Rights & Permissions
Share this Article:

Comments

You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.
Scientific American MIND iPad

Give a Gift & Get a Gift - Free!

Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99

Subscribe Now >>

X

Email this Article

X