The Nobel Prize in Physics 1949
Born: 23 January 1907, Tokyo, Japan
Died: 8 September 1981, Kyoto, Japan
Affiliation at the time of the award: Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Prize motivation: “for his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces”
Prize share: 1/1
Atomic nuclei consist of protons and neutrons held together by a strong force. Hideki Yukawa assumed that this force is borne by particles and that there is a relationship between the range of the force and the mass of the force-bearing particle. In 1934, Yukawa predicted that this particle should have a mass about 200 times that of an electron. He called this particle a “meson”. Mesons’ existence was verified in later experiments.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
See them all presented here.