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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2008
Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Maskawa

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Makoto Kobayashi - Facts

Makoto Kobayashi

Makoto Kobayashi

Born: 7 April 1944, Nagoya, Japan

Affiliation at the time of the award: High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Tsukuba, Japan

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature"

Field: particle physics

Prize share: 1/4

Work

Physicists long assumed that nature is characterized by symmetry. In a kind of "mirrored world" where right and left changed places and matter was exchanged for antimatter, natural laws would stand. After it was discovered that the decay of certain particles (kaons) was asymmetrical, a mathematics-based explanation for this was presented by Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa in 1972. The explanation meant that there must be at least three families of "quarks" that form matter. This theory was later verified.

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