Nambu, Yoichiro

Nambu, Yoichiro yoiˈchērō nämˈbo͞o [key], 1921–2015, Japanese-American physicist, b. Tokyo, D.Sc. Univ. of Tokyo, 1952. He studied at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, with Albert Einstein from 1952–54 and subsequently was a researcher and professor at the Univ. of Chicago, retiring in 1991. Nambu, who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics with Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa, received it for his discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics, which he described in a mathematical model. Spontaneous broken symmetry hides nature's order under a surface that appears disorganized, and is a concept that underlies the standard model of elementary particle physics. The three physicists are credited with providing insights into what happens within the smallest building blocks of matter; Nambu's also work contributed to the prediction of the Higgs boson.

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