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Fellows Directory

Richard Taylor

Richard Taylor

Professor Richard Taylor CC FRS


Elected: 1997


Richard Taylor was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist whose work at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC) provided experimental evidence for the quark theory of matter. By demonstrating that particles such as protons and neutrons contain yet more fundamental components known as quarks, he helped solidify and expand the Standard Model of particle physics.

Richard’s work on the design and construction of SLAC made it possible to fire high-energy electrons at protons or neutrons — collectively known as nucleons — and obtain information about their internal structure from the resultant collisions. This process, known as deep inelastic scattering, provided the first indication of the existence of quarks, held together by gluons within the nucleons themselves. He also designed and conducted challenging experiments to confirm the electroweak theory by comparing the scattering rates of differently-polarised electrons.

The significance of Richard’s work was recognised by numerous prestigious awards, including the 1990 Nobel Prize in Physics. A Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2005.

Professor Richard Taylor CC FRS died on 22 February 2018.


  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    Jointly with Jerome I. Friedman and Henry W. 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.

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