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Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Man dies at 89

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SANTA FE (AP) — Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who brought order to the universe by helping discover and classify subatomic particles, has died at the age of 89.

Gell-Mann died Friday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His death was confirmed by the Santa Fe Institute, where he held the title of distinguished fellow, and the California Institute of Technology, where he taught for decades. The cause was not disclosed.

Gell-Mann transformed physics by devising a method for sorting subatomic particles into simple groups of eight — based on electric charge, spin and other characteristics. He called his method the "eightfold way" after the Buddhist Eightfold Path to enlightenment.

Later Gell-Man developed the theory that identified "quarks," indivisible components of Earth's matter that make up protons, neutrons and other particles. Experiments confirmed the existence of quarks, and these objects now form the basis for our physical understanding of the universe, Caltech said in a statement.


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