Strange Beauty: Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in 20th-Century Physics


p. 3. The altitude of Santa Fe Baldy is 12,600 feet, not 11,600 feet.

p. 97. As stated correctly earlier in the chapter, the isospin is counterclockwise for the proton and clockwise for the neutron. I got it backwards on the second reference.

Earlier printings also contain the following errors, which were corrected in subsequent editions:

The caption on photo #11 in the center section should read:

"From left: Weisskopf (in background), Elisabeth Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Werner Heisenberg, in 1937. (The man on the far left is unidentified.)"

p. 16. Taiwan, rather than mainland China, was among the countries Gell-Mann had visited to see birds and other wildlife.

p. 20. "Lower East Side" is used here in a general sense to refer to the area east of Broadway extending as far north as 14th Street and to the rich immigrant culture that flourished there.

p. 49. Louis Kovarik should be Alois Kovarik.

p. 52. Gell-Mann's friend at Yale was Gerald Hegerty (not Haggerty). Although Gell-Mann helped organize the break-in at Skull and Bones, he tells me that he himself didn't get inside.

p. 72. Lake Pitscuaro should be Lake Patzcuaro.

p. 78. Oswald Veblen was a mathematician not an economist. I confused him with his uncle, Thorstein Veblen.

p. 85. Gell-Mann's first car, purchased when he was at the Institute for Advanced Study was new, he assures me, not second-hand.

p. 90. The name of the play is "Maid in the Ozarks" (not "Made in the Ozarks").

p. 103. The name "never-never land" is, of course, from Peter Pan, not Alice in Wonderland.

p. 121. In explaining that neutrons and antineutrons are not necessarily identical in their behavior, I erred in saying that this is because they have different spins.

p. 121. There should be a minus sign in front of the value of 2 for the strangeness of the "doubly strange" xi particle.

p. 123. The last sentence should read, "Moving charges give rise to magnetic fields" (instead of "magnetic currents").

p. 124. It was Fermi's secretary's office (not Fermi's own) where Gell-Mann saw the letter.

p. 133. Gell-Mann says that Italy was not among the seven countries he and his first wife, Margaret, drove through after their marriage in 1955.

On pp. 166 and 237 I mistakenly lumped mesons with the fermions instead of the bosons.

pp. 193-4. I misattributed the accomplishments of William B. Fowler on associated production to William A. Fowler, who was best known for his work on nucleosynthesis.

p. 207. 1,685 electron volts should be 1,685 million electron-volts.

p. 223. Erica Jen is incorrectly identified in the first printing as George Zweig's wife in 1962. She is actually his second wife.

p. 258. Paul Macready should be Paul MacCready.

p. 273. Smog contains "nitrogen oxide" (rather than "nitrous oxide").

p. 293. "pion" should be "muon."

p. 297. SU(1) X SU(2) should be U(1) X SU(2).

p. 307. Gell-Mann says that his daughter's job on the docks was during, not after, her time at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

p. 309. The other scientists mentioned in the sentence about land in Tesuque bought their lots at the same time as Delbrück, who sold his to Gell-Mann.

p. 352. "suit and tie" should be, as is clear from the picture, "vest and tie."

George Johnson