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Martin L. Perl dies at 87; Nobel winner discovered tau lepton
Martin L. Perl dies at 87; Nobel winner discovered tau lepton

Long before he would be awarded a Nobel Prize, Martin L. Perl liked to do his own plumbing repairs. He usually had spare time, and he clearly knew the physics, his oldest son, Jed, recalled. And Martin Perl was, first and foremost, a hands-on experimenter. His persistent re-testing of theories to dispel the doubts of his colleagues eventually proved there was a new subatomic particle that existed for trillionths of a second and was 3,500 times as massive as an electron. The discovery in 1975 of what now is known as the tau lepton helped fill a gap in the standard model of particle physics and won Perl a Nobel Prize in physics in 1995. Perl, 87, died of a heart attack Tuesday at...

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