RICHTER, BURTON (1931– ), U.S. physicist and Nobel prize winner. Born in New York, Richter received his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956. In the same year he joined Stanford University as a research associate, becoming assistant professor (1960). He moved to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center as an associate professor (1963) and full professor (1967). In 1979 he was appointed the Paul Pigott Professor of Physical Science. He was director of the Center from 1984 to 1999. He served as president of the American Physical Society (1994), and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (1999–2002). He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Richter shared the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics with Samuel Ting of MIT for their discovery in 1974 – each working independently – of a new subatomic particle, called "psi" by Richter and "J" by Ting, three times heavier than the proton and with a life-span some 10,000 times longer than anticipated by theory at that time. This significant contribution in the field of elementary particles provided evidence for a fourth quark.


Science, 194 (1976), 825; Current Biography (1977), 359–62.

[Bracha Rager (2nd ed.)]

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