IMMIGRANT OF THE DAY: YOICHIRU NAMBU - NOBEL PRIZE WINNER IN PHYSICS
I am delighted to tell you that Yoichiro Nambu, the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute, has been awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Professor Nambu, who has been a scholar at the University of Chicago since 1954, is one of the leading figures in the development of modern particle physics. His work has contributed to our understanding of the world ranging from the structure of the early universe to the behavior of magnetic materials.
In its citation, the Nobel Foundation credited Professor Nambu with "the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics." He was awarded the Nobel Prize jointly with Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa in Japan for their work on the origins of broken symmetry.
Professor Nambu founded the concept of spontaneous symmetry-breaking, or SSB, while studying superconductivity in the 1960s and then applied his theory to particle physics. His theories predicted the existence of massless particles.
The Nobel Prize also recognizes his significant contributions to the "color gauge theory," which explains how the strong nuclear force governs the behavior of the quarks that make up protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei, and his contributions to String Theory, one of the most actively explored theories in physics today.
Professor Nambu was born in Tokyo in 1921 and received his B.S. degree in 1942 and his D.Sc. degree in 1952 from the University of Tokyo. He joined the University of Chicago as a research associate in 1954, advancing through the faculty ranks. He served as chair of the Physics Department from 1974 to 1977, and became an emeritus professor in 1991. His previous honors include the Wolf Prize in Physics, National Medal of Science, Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, J. Robert Oppenheimer Prize, and the Order of Culture from the government of Japan.
Professor Nambu joins 81 other Nobel laureates who have been affiliated with the University, including 27 prior recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Robert J. Zimmer, University of Chicago President
Thanks also to reader USC for pointing out this news in the comments.