Lederman, Leon Max (lĕdˈərmən) [key], 1922–, American physicist, Ph.D. Columbia, 1951. He was a professor at Columbia until he became director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill. (1979–89). In the early 1960s, Lederman and co-researchers, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger, developed the neutrino beam method for studying weak interactions and used it to make discoveries about elementary particle physics, including a new type of neutrino (a particle with no detectable electric charge or mass that moves at the speed of light). This led to the development of a new scheme for classifying families of subatomic particles. In 1988, Lederman, Schwartz, and Steinberger were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery.
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