Strange Beauty

"In our work we are always between Scylla and Charybdis; we may fail to abstract enough, and miss important physics, or we may abstract too much and end up with fictitious objects in our models turning into real monsters that devour us."

-- Murray Gell-Mann, in a 1972 lecture on quarks in Schladming, Austria.

Prologue. On the Trail to La Vega

Chapter 1. A Hyphenated American

Czernowitz, Vienna, and New York City

Chapter 2: The Walking Encyclopedia

New York City and New Haven

Chapter 3: A Feeling for the Mechanism


Chapter 4: Village of the Demigods


Chapter 5: The Magic Memory


Chapter 6: 'No Excellent Beauty'

Chicago, Princeton, Paris, Urbana, Glasgow, Copenhagen, and Pisa

Chapter 7: A Lop-Sided Universe

Pasadena and Moscow

Chapter 8: Field of Dreams

Pasadena and Kiev

Chapter 9: The Magic Eightball

Paris, Entebbe, the Serengeti, Pasadena, and San Diego

Chapter 10. Holy Trinities

Geneva, Cambridge, New York, and Pasadena

Chapter 11. Aces and Quarks

Pasadena, Udaipur, Kyoto, Dubna, Katmandu, and Sapporo

Chapter 12. The Swedish Prize

Pasadena, Princeton, and Stockholm

Chapter 13. Quantum Chromodynamics

Aspen, Pasadena, Geneva, and Paris

Chapter 14. Superphysics

Pasadena, Aspen, and Tesuque

Chapter 15. From the Simple to the Complex

Sant Feliu de Guixols, Pasadena, Lima, and Santa Fe

Chapter 16. The Quark and the Jaguar

Santa Fe, New York City

Epilogue. Valentine's Day, 1997


Sources and Acknowledgments