The son of Russian and Polish immigrants, his first career was as a General Electric chemical engineer .
Reines, working with his colleague, the late Clyde Cowan, at the Los Alamos U.S. National Laboratory in New Mexico during the 1950s, discovered the neutrino, which is a rare particle like the electron but one that does not carry a charge.
He is a graduate of New York University, and the grand-nephew of Rabbi Isaac Jacob Reines, founder of the Mizrachi — religious Zionist — movement.
Reines, the first dean of physical sciences at Irvine, is retired. Perl continues his research.
"It's like medicine. You have to do a lot of research before you can make new drugs," Perl said. "You have to know what energy and matter is made of, and then find new ways to use it."