World / Science & Health

Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann dies at 89

AP

Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who brought order to the universe by helping discover and classify subatomic particles, has died at the age of 89.

Gell-Mann died Friday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His death was confirmed by the Santa Fe Institute, where he held the title of distinguished fellow, and the California Institute of Technology, where he taught for decades. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Gell-Mann transformed physics by devising a method for sorting subatomic particles into simple groups of eight — based on electric charge, spin and other characteristics.

He also developed the theory of “quarks,” indivisible components of matter that make up protons, neutrons and other particles.

Cal Tech professor Fiona Harrison called Gell-Mann one of the great theoretical physicists of his time.