News Details | 02-Mar-2010

Eminent scientists honour Murray Gell-Mann at NTU

Four Nobel Laureates and many other distinguished scientists from all around the world were gathered at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from 24 to 26 February 2010, on the occasion of Professor Murray Gell-Mann’s 80th birthday, and to celebrate his contributions to Physics with a festival of lectures.

Jointly organised with Santa Fe Institute (SFI) in United States, the conference saw an august gathering of physicists from countries such as the United States, Germany, Italy and Australia. The four Nobel Laureates who attended the conference were:

• Professor Yang Chen Ning, Nobel Laureate in Physics (1957)
• Professor Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel Laureate in Physics (1969);
• Professor Kenneth Geddes Wilson, Nobel Laureate in Physics (1982), who pursued his doctorate under Professor Gell-Mann; and
• Professor Gerard ‘t Hooft, Nobel Laureate in Physics (1999);

Close to 40 sessions were held during the three-day conference, covering topics in quantum mechanics, elementary particles, quantum cosmology and complexity theory.

Professor Gell-Mann is one of today’s most prominent scientists.  He is currently Distinguished Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute as well as the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, where he joined the faculty in 1955.  In 1969, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles. He is the author of The Quark and the Jaguar, published in 1994, in which his ideas on complexity theory are presented to a general readership.

Commenting on Prof Gell-Mann’s achievements, NTU President Dr Su Guaning said, “Part of Prof Gell-Mann’s enduring success lies in his multidisciplinary approach, which attempts to discover common, fundamental principles in complex adaptive systems. At the same time, he acknowledges those elements as individual actors in a large, interconnected, often unpredictable world.  Much of his work is concerned with the concepts of simplicity and complexity, regularity and randomness.  Among his current projects, for instance, is the attempt to discover how knowledge and understanding can be extracted from the welter of information that is transmitted and stored as a result of the digital revolution.”

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