MARTIN L. PERL — Nobel Laureate in Physics - 1995
In finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, Polytechnic University alum Martin L. Perl '48 answered a cosmic riddle, provided future scientists and engineers fundamental scientific knowledge, and became co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physics. Perl's discovery of the Tau Lepton, Τ, which has 3500 times more mass than an electron, stunned most particle physicists at the time. And, as with other subatomic particles discovered over the past century — such as protons, neutrons, neutrinos and quarks — knowing of the Τ's existence offers unimaginable promise to advance human endeavors in science, engineering and the physical world. Like the point of the needle, the Τ's smallness belies great power, without which our world would be entirely unrecognizable. "For most," Perl has written, the discovery "was a remote dream."