Richter, Burton(rĭk`tər), 1931–2018, American physicist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1956. A professor at Stanford, Richter designed and built a particle accelerator (Stanford Positron-Electron Asymmetric Ring) with the help of David Ritson and the support of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. With it he discovered (1974) a new subatomic particle called a psi-particle (now called a J/psi mesonmeson
[Gr.,=middle (i.e., middleweight)], class of elementary particles whose masses are generally between those of the lepton class of lighter particles and those of the baryon class of heavier particles. From a technical point of view mesons are strongly interacting bosons; i.
..... Click the link for more information. ); the particle also was discovered independently and nearly simultaneously by Samuel TingTing, Samuel Chao Chung,
1936–, American physicist, b. Ann Arbor, Mich., Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan 1962. Ting was a professor at Columbia from 1965 to 1969, when he joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
..... Click the link for more information. using a different method. The particle, which consists of a charm quark–anticharm quark pair, also led to to the confirmation of the existence of a fourth quark, charm. Richter and Ting were jointly awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work. From 1984 to 1999 Burton headed the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, where he oversaw the building of the Stanford Linear Collider and later redirected the center's work from particle accelerators toward high-energy X-ray lasers and astrophysics. He wrote Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century (2010), an explanation of climate change for nonscientists.
Born Mar. 22, 1931, in New York. American physicist.
Richter graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952. In 1956 he became a research associate at Stanford University’s high-energy physics laboratory; he was named a professor at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in 1967.
Richter’s principal works deal with particle physics. In 1974, in experiments using colliding electron-positron beams, he discovered the ψ-meson (J-meson), the first particle of a new family of mesons with a fourth (charmed) quark. He also discovered the ψ-meson and meson resonances with masses of 2.8–3.6 gigaelec-tron volts.
For his discovery of the ψ-meson, Richter received a Nobel Prize in 1976.