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UH Manoa high energy physics excellence and expertise chronicled in scholar's book about scientists' search for "the top quark"

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Apr 6, 2005

UH Manoa‘s contributions to the field of high energy physics are receiving wide acknowledgement in a book summarizing the scientific landmark discovery of the "top quark" — one of the six fundamental constituents of matter.

And thanks to the book‘s new availability through, this breakthrough discovery — widely regarded as one of the most important developments in science in the late 20th century — and the university‘s part in the effort, may garner even more attention.

The book is The Evidence for the Top Quark: Objectivity and Bias in Collaborative Experimentation, by St. Louis University Professor Kent Staley (Cambridge University Press). Amazon‘s description of the book notes that it is not a simple researcher‘s journal of the search for the top quark, but that the author "explores in detail the controversies and politics that surrounded the major scientific result."

"For many years, the high energy physics programs at UH Manoa have been highly rated relative to other universities of comparable size," said Charles F
. Hayes, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences. "Even though the discoveries chronicled in Staley‘s book occurred many years ago, this recognition is tremendously helpful to our scientific reputation."

The search for the top quark was the focus of UH Manoa researchers Sandip Pakvasa — a leading theorist in high energy physics — and Hirotaka Sugawara — visiting UH from Japan in 1974-75. Their exhaustive research — aimed at resolving inconsistencies in earlier work by Japanese scientists — demonstrated that a consistent explanation of all known experimental data clearly proved the existence of exactly six quarks.

The race was then on to find and identify unknown quarks. The effort consumed more than 450 scientists at the national high energy physics laboratory in Illinois over a period of twenty-one years. In the end, the theory first enunciated in the 1975 paper by Professors Pakvasa and Sugawara, was substantiated.

[Check the product description and editorial reviews for this publication at; search for the book‘s title: The Evidence for the Top Quark.]