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American, Japanese scientists share 2008 Nobel Prize in physics

STOCKHOLM - Yoichiro Nambu of America and Japan`s Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa won the 2008 Nobel Prize in physics for reaching on symmetry at the microscopic level, the Nobel committee announced Tuesday.

A combination photograph shows (L-R) Japanese scientists Makoto Kobayashi, Toshihide Masukawa and Tokyo-born American citizen Yoichiro Nambu. Kobayashi, Masukawa and Nambu shared the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics for discoveries in sub-atomic particles, the prize committee said on October 7, 2008. [Agencies] 

Yoichiro Nambu was awarded "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics." Meanwhile, Kobayashi and Maskawa were honored "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature," said the committee.

"Nambu`s theories permeate the standard model of elementary particle physics. The model unifies the smallest building blocks of all matter and three of nature`s four forces in one single theory," said Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in the citation, adding that Kobayashi and Maskawa "explained broken symmetry within the framework of the standard model but required that the model be extended to three families of quarks."

Yoichiro Nambu won half the award, while Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa shared the other half. The trio will together share the 10 million kronor (about US$1.42 million) purse, a diploma and an invitation to the prize ceremonies in Stockholm on December 10.

On Monday, the Nobel Medicine Prize went to France`s Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier, and Harald zur Hausen of Germany for their "discoveries of two viruses causing severe human diseases."

The winners of the Chemistry Prize will be announced Wednesday, to be followed by those for Literature Thursday, Peace Friday and Economics next Monday.

The annual Nobel Prizes are usually announced in October and are handed out on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite.

Nobel died childless and dedicated his vast fortune to create "prizes for those, who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."

The prizes have been awarded since 1901. Each prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor(US$1.42 million).

Japanese scientist Makoto Kobayashi speaks during a news conference in Tokyo October 7, 2008. Two Japanese scientists and a Tokyo-born American shared the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics for discoveries in sub-atomic particles, the prize committee said on Tuesday. The Nobel committee lauded Yoichiro Nambu, a Tokyo-born American citizen, and Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan for separate work that helped explain why the universe is made up mostly of matter and not anti-matter via processes known as broken symmetries. [Agencies]

Kyoto University emeritus professor Toshihide Maskawa smiles during a news conference in Kyoto, western Japan October 7, 2008. Two Japanese scientists and a Tokyo-born American shared the 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics for discoveries in sub-atomic particles, the prize committee said on Tuesday. The Nobel committee lauded Yoichiro Nambu, a Tokyo-born American citizen, and Makoto Kobayashi and Maskawa of Japan for separate work that helped explain why the universe is made up mostly of matter and not anti-matter via processes known as broken symmetries. [Agencies]

Tokyo-born American citizen Yoichiro Nambu of the University of Chicago gives a phone interview in his Chicago home October 7, 2008. Two Japanese scientists and Nambu shared the 2008 Nobel Prize for physics for discoveries in sub-atomic particles, the prize committee said on Tuesday. The Nobel committee lauded Nambu, and Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan for separate work that helped explain why the universe is made up mostly of matter and not anti-matter via processes known as broken symmetries. [Agencies]

 
Date:2008-10-7 21:21:00     
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