Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

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

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Yoichiro Nambu - Facts

Yoichiro Nambu

Yoichiro Nambu

Born: 18 January 1921, Tokyo, Japan

Died: 5 July 2015, Osaka, Japan

Affiliation at the time of the award: Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics"

Field: particle physics

Prize share: 1/2


For a long time, physicists assumed that various symmetries characterized nature. In a kind of "mirror world" where right and left were reversed and matter was replaced by antimatter, the same physical laws would apply, they posited. However, symmetries had been proven to be violated at times. In 1960, Yoichiro Nambu formulated a mathematical theory for understanding spontaneous symmetry violations, providing a basis for better understanding elementary particles and their interactions.

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