© The Nobel Foundation
Martin L. Perl

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

Martin L Perl: Nobel Prize in Physics Recipient-1995
by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Martin L. Perl is an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1995, which he shared with Frederick Reines, for his pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics and for the discovery of the tau lepton.

He was born on June 24, 1927, in New York City, New York. He was the son Fay, nee Resenthal, and Oscar Perl, who was a salesman. He had a sister named Lila.

His parents were Jews who fled the pogroms and anti-Semitism of Tzarist Russia. They came to the United States to start a new life.

He graduated James Madison High School, in Brooklyn, 1942. Perl received a summa cum laude Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, in 1948.

He then went to Columbia University where he received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics, 1955. He studied under I.I. Rabi, who was a Nobel Prize Laureate in physics.

After graduation, he chose to accept a position with the University of Michigan, 1955-1963. He first worked on the bubble chamber with Donald Glaser. When the Russians launched Sputnik, Perl and his friend, Lawrence Jones, wrote to Washington for research money, which they received.

In 1963, he became a professor at Stanford University. He has received many honors and awards:
● Wolf Prize in Physics, which he shared with Leon M. Lederman, 1982
● General Electric Engineer, 1948-1950
● A member of the American Physical Society
● A member of the National Academy of Sciences
● A member of the Scientist and Engineers for America

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