Jewish physicist’s Nobel Prize sells for $765K


(JTA) — The 1988 Nobel Prize in physics won by Jewish-American experimental physicist Leon Lederman sold at auction for $765,002.

Lederman, 92, and his wife, Ellen, decided to sell the medal after he was diagnosed with dementia, The Associated Press reported.

The online bidding was conducted by the Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions. The results of the daylong auction on Thursday were reported over the weekend.

Ten Nobel Prizes have been sold at auction; only two were put up by a living winner.

Lederman won the Nobel Prize with Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberge for their discovery of the muon neutrino, a subatomic particle. He also won the Wolf Prize in Physics in 1982 and the U.S. National Medal of Science. He is a member of the board of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel.

Lederman is credited with coining the nickname the “God particle” for the Higgs Boson subatomic particle, a term he used in a 1993 book promoting support for the Superconducting Super Collider.

He used his share of the approximately $1 million prize to buy a vacation home in Idaho, where he now lives permanently, according to AP.

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