Dr. Leon Lederman, the man who named the Higgs boson “The God Particle” and discovered the elements crucial to the understanding of modern quantum physics passed away at age 96. His legacy carries on in the hearts of those he inspired, and through the field to which he dedicated his life.

Modest origins

Lederman was born in 1922 to an immigrant family in New York City where he attended school up through completing his bachelor’s degree. With his first degree in hand, Lederman enlisted to fight in World War II with the US Army. When he returned from the war, he returned to school, eventually receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1951.


Even after graduating with his final degree, Lederman continued to leave his mark on the world of academia by encouraging students, institutions, and government officials to make more of a push toward engagement in science fields, particularly physics.

A lifetime of success

Although his life was filled with numerous advances in the field of physics, there are two that have revolutionized the field. Lederman is credited with the discovery of the muon and the Bottom quark. In 1988, his work with muons won him the Nobel Prize for Physics.


In addition to the Nobel Prize, Lederman was also awarded the National Medal of Science, the Elliott Cresson Medal for Physics, the Wolf Prize for Physics, and the Enrico Fermi Award, among others. In 1995, he even received the Making History Award from the Chicago History Museum.

Until death

Dr. Leon Lederman’s influence in the scientific community will carry on for generations to come, and his contributions to our everyday interactions with science have brought physics to a new level of understanding and comprehension.

The Times of Israel

Lederman passed away on October 3, 2018, in Rexburg, Idaho, following complications from dementia. Larger than life itself, we carry on his memory as one of the greatest physicists of the modern era.