Benjamin W. Lee

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Benjamin Whisoh Lee (January 1, 1935June 16, 1977) or Ben Lee, was a Korean-American theoretical physicist. His work in theorical particle physics exerted great influence on the development of the standard model in the late 20th century especially on the renormalization and the charm quark.


  • I often liken the process of physics research to solving a jigsaw puzzle. As we put together pieces to form patches, a certain image of the overall picture emerges, but until the game is sufficiently progressed, we are not quite sure. I feel much the same way about the wealth of signs for new particles. We have patches that have been put together, but we are not quite sure how all pieces will fit together into a coherent whole. There are also certain pieces which do not seem to fit into any patches at all. For the most part, the experimental findings have not been completely unexpected, but there have been certain surprises that I, for one, had not foreseen. This is what makes particle physics exciting and tantalizing. At moments of despair and frustration, I feel as though somebody has scrambled two boxes of jigsaw puzzles for me to put together.

Quotes about Lee[edit]

  • Lee's involvement with gauge theories dated back to 1964. He was concerned about the fact that superconductors appear to provide a counterexample to the general theorem, which requires that spontaneous symmetry breaking is always accompanied with massless spin-zero bosons. With Klein, he wrote an article suggesting that the same might occur in relativistic theories. It was soon realized that this is indeed the case, provided the broken symmetry is a gauge symmetry, as it is in a superconductor.

External links[edit]

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