Scientist who shared the 1990 Nobel prize in physics for establishing that protons and neutrons are made up of quarks
Richard Taylor, who has died aged 88, won a share of the Nobel prize in physics for establishing that protons and neutrons are made up of quarks. His discovery, in the late 1960s with Jerome Friedman, Henry Kendall and a team of researchers, was a fundamental breakthrough in the understanding of the nature of matter, and encouraged a 50-year quest for the final link in the puzzle, the Higgs boson, which was found in 2012.
Taylor and his colleagues discovered quarks by building on the work of Ernest Rutherford, who, around 1910, had found that atoms have a nucleus – later shown to consist of protons and neutrons – but did not have the tools to probe any deeper. By contrast, Taylor was able to use a powerful accelerator of electrons at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in California to reveal the deep structure of first the proton and later the neutron.