US physicist whose research into the collision of high-energy electrons with protons and neutrons was important in developing the quark model of particle physics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1990 for his experiments demonstrating that protons and neutrons are made up of quarks. He shared the award with Jerome I Friedman and Richard E Taylor.
Kendall, Taylor, and Friedman experimented in 1970 with bombarding protons (and later, neutrons) with high-energy electrons. They predicted that high-energy electrons would suffer only small deflections as they passed through the protons, but found instead that the electrons were sometimes scattered through large angles inside the proton. James D Bjorken and Richard Feynman suggested that this was because the electrons were hitting hard pointlike objects inside the proton, now known to be quarks, amongst the most fundamental building blocks of matter.
Kendall was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and educated at Amherst College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Two years after gaining his doctorate, Kendall joined the research group of Robert Hofstadter at the Stanford University, California, which was engaged in the study of the proton and neutron structure. At Stanford Kendall met and worked with Jerome Friedman and got to know Richard Taylor. After five years at Stanford, he moved back to MIT. Friedman had moved there a year earlier and the two renewed their acquaintance. By 1964 the pair had established the collaboration with Taylor, then a research group leader at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), which led to the Nobel Prize.
Kendall had been chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which he co-founded, since 1973 and was one of the first scientists to expose flaws in nuclear power station safety mechanisms. He also coauthored books on nuclear arms control and energy policy. An accomplished diver, he wrote books on diving and underwater photography.
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n 1 an unstable negatively charged elementary particle, classified as a baryon, that has a mass 3273 times that of the electron