Henry Way Kendall


Henry Way Kendall
(1926)


American nuclear physicist who shared the 1990 Nobel Prize for Physics with Jerome Isaac Friedman and Richard E. Taylor for being the first researchers to obtain experimental evidence for the existence of the subatomic particles known as quarks.
Kendall studied at Amherst (Mass.) College (B.A., 1950) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT (Ph.D., 1955), and, after serving as a U.S. National Science Foundation Fellow at MIT, taught and did research at Stanford University (1956-61). In 1961 he joined the faculty of MIT, becoming a full professor in 1967.

Kendall and his colleagues were cited by the Nobel committee for their "breakthrough in our understanding of matter" achieved while working together at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center from 1967 to 1973. There they used a particle accelerator to direct a beam of high-energy electrons at target protons and neutrons. The way in which the electrons scattered from the targets indicated that the protons and neutrons were not the solid, uniformly dense bodies to be expected if they were truly fundamental particles, but were instead composed of still smaller particles. This confirmed the existence of the quarks that were first hypothesized independently in 1964 by Murray Gell-Mann at the California Institute of Technology and by George Zwerg. Kendall also did research in nuclear structure, in high-energy electron scattering, and in meson and neutrino physics. He was a founder of the Union of Concerned Scientists.




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