Burton Richter

Burton Richter ( born March 22, 1931 in New York) is an American physicist.

Richter studied physics in 1948 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others, Francis Bitter Magnetism Lab. But he soon switched to particle physics and a doctorate in LS Osborne on photoproduction of pions on protons. In 1957 he tested with experiments at Stanford University, the validity of quantum electrodynamics ( QED) up to distances of. Soon after, he built a team of Gerard Kitchen O'Neill, the first electron - collider at HEPL ( High Energy Physics Laboratory ). This allowed them to extend the 1965 tests the limit of validity of QED again to ten times smaller distances. At the same time he was involved at the invitation of Wolfgang Panofsky 1963 at SLAC in the planning of an electron- positron storage ring, SPEAR and the later developed to various detectors. In 1970 he began construction in 1973 and began to run SPEAR. There, judges could conduct the experiments, which eventually earned him the Nobel Prize.

Judge received in 1976 along with Samuel CC Ting the Nobel Prize in Physics " for leading services in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of new type " of a bound state of the charm quark with its antiparticle ( J / ψ -meson ), making them the direct detection charm quarks succeeded. The same discovery was made independently of Samuel Ting at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

During a stay at CERN 1975/76, in which he experimented on proton storage ring ISR, he undertook scaling studies for electron-positron storage rings, which served as a precursor to the Large Electron-Positron Collider at CERN in the 1980s.

1982 to 1984 he was Technical Director at SLAC and then to 1999 director.

He has been married since 1960 and has a son and a daughter.


  • Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century. Cambridge University Press, 2010.