The all knowing polymath that is Murray Gell-Mann is one of the world’s greatest living geniuses. Plus he does a good line in sunglasses. Two persuasive reasons why you should spend the time to get to know anyone, let alone the man who looked to James Joyce when naming the smallest constiuents of matter – quarks* – and borrowed from Buddhism when putting some order on the particle zoo with the Eightfold Way.
In this lecture, he discusses the theory that beauty, or simplicity of expression, in physics is not only aesthetically pleasing but is actually a guiding light in our search for knowledge and a good barometer by which to measure how close we are to uncovering underlying thruths about the universe.
*He found the word in the line “Three quarks for Muster Mark” in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
Beauty and Elegance in Physics