Richard E. Taylor

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Richard Taylor
File:Richard E. Taylor.jpg
Taylor in 1967
Born Richard Edward Taylor
(1929-11-02)2 November 1929
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Died 22 February 2018(2018-02-22) (aged 88)
Stanford, California, U.S.
Fields Particle physics
Alma mater
Thesis Positive pion production by polarised bremsstrahlung (1962)
Doctoral advisor Robert F. Mozley
Notable awards

Richard Edward Taylor, CC FRS FRSC (2 November 1929 – 22 February 2018),[2] was a Canadian physicist and Stanford University professor.[3] He shared the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics with Jerome Friedman and Henry Kendall "for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics."[4][5][6]


After growing up in Medicine Hat, Taylor studied for his BSc (1950) and MSc (1952) degrees at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Newly married, he applied to work for a PhD degree at Stanford University, where he joined the High Energy Physics Laboratory. His PhD thesis was on an experiment using polarized gamma rays to study pion production.[7]

Research and career

After 3 years at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and a year at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California, Taylor returned to Stanford. Construction of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (now the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory) was beginning. In collaboration with researchers from the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Taylor worked on the design and construction of the equipment, and was involved in many of the experiments.

The experiments run at SLAC in the late 1960s and early 1970s involved scattering high-energy beams of electrons from protons and deuterons and heavier nuclei.[8][9][10] At lower energies, it had already been found that the electrons would only be scattered through low angles, consistent with the idea that the nucleons had no internal structure. However, the SLAC-MIT experiments showed that higher energy electrons could be scattered through much higher angles, with the loss of some energy. These deep inelastic scattering results provided the first experimental evidence that the protons and neutrons were made up of point-like particles, later identified to be the up and down quarks that had previously been proposed on theoretical grounds. The experiments also provided the first evidence for the existence of gluons. Taylor, Friedman and Kendall were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1990 for this work.[11]

Awards and honors

Taylor has received numerous awards and honours including


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Professor Richard Taylor FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 21 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Breidenbach, Martin; Prescott, Charles (June 2018). "Richard Taylor 1929-2018". CERN Courier. 58 (5): 41–42. Retrieved 2 July 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Symbol question.svg[[Category:Nobel Prize in {{{1}}} winners]]
  4. Nobel prize citation
  5. Taylor, R. E. "Nucleon Form Factors above 6 GeV", Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), United States Department of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (Sept. 1967).
  6. Taylor, R. E. "The Discovery of the Point Like Structure of Matter", Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), United States Department of Energy--Office of Energy Research, (Sept. 2000).
  7. Taylor, Richard Edward (1962). Positive pion production by polarized bremsstrahlung (PhD thesis). Stanford University. OCLC 38657023.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Richard E. Taylor's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier.
  9. Prescott, C.Y.; Atwood, W.B.; Cottrell, R.L.A.; DeStaebler, H.; Garwin, Edward L.; Gonidec, A.; Miller, R.H.; Rochester, L.S.; Sato, T.; Sherden, D.J.; Sinclair, C.K.; Stein, S.; Taylor, R.E.; Clendenin, J.E.; Hughes, V.W.; Sasao, N.; Schüler, K.P.; Borghini, M.G.; Lübelsmeyer, K.; Jentschke, W. (1978). "Parity non-conservation in inelastic electron scattering". Physics Letters B. 77 (3): 347–352. Bibcode:1978PhLB...77..347P. doi:10.1016/0370-2693(78)90722-0. ISSN 0370-2693.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Bloom, E. D.; Coward, D. H.; DeStaebler, H.; Drees, J.; Miller, G.; Mo, L. W.; Taylor, R. E.; Breidenbach, M.; Friedman, J. I.; Hartmann, G. C.; Kendall, H. W. (1969). "High-Energy Inelastice−pScattering at 6° and 10°". Physical Review Letters. 23 (16): 930–934. Bibcode:1969PhRvL..23..930B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.23.930. ISSN 0031-9007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Nobel prize press release
  12. Taylor's entry in the SLAC index of faculty