Nambu, Yoichiro

Nambu, Yoichiro yoi´chērō näm´bo͞o [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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