The combination of symmetries which underpins modern particle physics, named somewhat irreverently after the Noble Eightfold Way of Buddhism. These symmetries were discovered in 1961 by Murray Gell-Mann and independently by Yu'val Ne'eman. Both were studying the patterns formed when plotting the strangeness value vs the charge of the eight spin (-1/2) baryons. The plot forms a distinctive hexagonal pattern, which was also surprisingly found when the same graph was made of the strangeness and charge of the nine spin - zero mesons.

A similar plot made for the spin (-3/2) baryons consisted of ten particles, arranged in a triangular pattern. When the pattern was first discovered, one of the particles was missing, but the theory of symmetry allowed its properties to be predicted by Gell-Mann, who named it Omega-. Three years later his prediction was validated when Brookhaven National Laboratory observed the particle Gell-Mann had described, a success for the theory of symmetry.

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