Leon Lederman (Illinois Math / Science Academy)

Leon Lederman, internationally renowned high-energy physicist and one of the founding fathers of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, joined IMSA's staff in September 1998 to lead the IMSA Great Minds Program® as Resident Scholar. Dr. Lederman's involvement in the worldwide scientific community, as well as his reputation in others areas of society, including education reform, enable him to bring some of the most stimulating and best minds to IMSA.

Dr. Lederman is director emeritus of the nearby Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois—where the tau neutrino was recently discovered (after three years of painstaking work). This is a further discovery in the field of particle physics, the area in which Dr. Lederman was involved in during his experimental years at Columbia University in New York. As a result of the discovery of the muon neutrino, a crucial element in the organization of fundamental particles, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1988. Later, at Fermilab, his group discovered the "beauty" quark. Both neutrinos and b-quarks are primary objects of study in accelerators around the world today.

Dr. Lederman also holds an appointment as Pritzker Professor of Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science (1965), the Elliot Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute (1976), the Wolf Prize in Physics (1982) and the Enrico Fermi Prize (1993).

Leon Lederman is the author of The God Particle (with Dick Teresi), From Quarks to the Cosmos (with David Schramm), and, most recently, Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe (with Chris Hill).

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