Martin Lewis Perl

Martin Lewis Perl ( * June 24, 1927 in New York) is an American physicist. For his discovery of the Tauons he received along with Frederick Reines 1995 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Perl is the son of Jewish immigrants from the then belonging to Russia Poland, graduated in 1942 from high school in Brooklyn and studied chemical engineering at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, where he graduated in 1948 made ​​( summa cum laude). During the Second World War was in the merchant marine and worked from 1948 to 1950 as an engineer at General Electric in Schenectady. There he had to do mainly with the production of electron tubes and decided to study physics to attach. In 1955 he received his doctorate at Columbia University in Isidor Isaac Rabi with an atomic physics experimental work ( measurement of the quadrupole moment of the sodium nucleus). On the advice Rabis he switched to physics and went in 1955 as an instructor at the University of Michigan, where he initially worked in the bubble chamber group of Donald Glaser. He was associate professor at the University of Michigan before he went in 1963 as a professor at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center ( SLAC ), where he spent most of his career. From 2004 he was a professor emeritus.

His doctoral counts Samuel C. C. Ting.

In 1981 he became a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1982 he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Physics.


  • Reflections on Experimental Science, World Scientific 1996
  • The discovery of the tau lepton, in Lillian Hoddeson, Laurie Brown, Michael Riordan (ed.): The Rise of the Standard Model, Cambridge University Press 1997, p.79 -100