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Discoveries at Fermilab - The Bottom Quark

In 1977, an experiment led by physicist and Nobel laureate Leon Lederman at Fermilab provided the first evidence for the existence of the bottom quark, an essential ingredient in the theoretical framework called the Standard Model. The experiment discovered a particle, now called the upsilon, composed of a new kind of quark (named bottom) and its antimatter partner (antibottom). The clarity of that discovery combined with the 1974 discovery of the J/psi particle, a composite of a charm with an anticharm quark made even the most skeptical physicists believe in quarks.

Text of news release (August 7, 1977)

Historic pictures and documents

25th anniversary of bottom quark discovery (pdf-file, 400 kb)
Special issue of FermiNews, July 18, 1997

Slide show on the bottom quark by the Education Department


last modified 2/23/2001   email Fermilab