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南部 陽一郎
Yoichiro Nambu

Born January 18, 1921 (1921-01-18) (age 88)
Tokyo, Japan
Fields Physics
Institutions Osaka City University (1949-52)
University of Chicago (1958-)
Known for Spontaneous symmetry breaking
Notable awards US National Medal of Science (1982)
Dirac Medal (1986)
J.J. Sakurai Prize (1994)
Wolf Prize in Physics (1994/1995)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2008)

Yoichiro Nambu (南部 陽一郎 Nambu Yōichirō ?, born January 18, 1921) is a Japanese-born American physicist, currently a professor at the University of Chicago. Known for his contributions to the field of theoretical physics, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008 for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics.[1]


Early years

Nambu was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1921. After graduating from the then Fukui Secondary High School in Fukui City, he enrolled in the Tokyo Imperial University and studied physics. He received his B.S. in 1942 and D.Sc. in 1952.[2] In 1949 he was appointed to associate professor at the Osaka City University and promoted to professorship next year at the age of 29.

In 1952 he was invited by the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey to study. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1954 and was promoted to professor in 1958.[3] He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1970.[4]

Career in physics

He is famous for having proposed the "color charge" of quantum chromodynamics, for having done early work on spontaneous symmetry breaking in particle physics, and for having discovered that the dual resonance model could be explained as a quantum mechanical theory of strings. He is accounted as one of the founders of string theory.

After more than 50 years as a professor, he is now its Henry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at its Department of Physics and Enrico Fermi Institute.

The Nambu-Goto action in string theory is named after Nambu and Tetsuo Goto. Also, massless bosons arising in field theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking are sometimes referred to as Nambu-Goldstone bosons.[5][6]

Honors and awards

Nambu has won numerous honors and awards including the J. Robert Oppenheimer Prize, the U.S.'s National Medal of Science, Japan's Order of Culture, the Planck Medal, the Wolf Prize in Physics (1994/1995), the Franklin Institute's Franklin Medal (in 2005), the Dirac Medal, and the Sakurai Prize (in 1994). He was awarded one-half of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics (currently approximately 10 million SEK, slightly more than €1 million or US$1.6 million or £0.8 million) "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics".[1][7][8]


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