Two Japanese, American win 2008 physics Nobel
Subatomic partical behaviour study gets this year nobel for physics.Yoichiro Nambu,Makato Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa jointly shared the prize for their contribution to show why universe is made up mostly of matter and not antimatter via changes known as broken symmetries.
Two Japanese scientists and a Tokyo-born American shared the 2008 Nobel Prize for physics for helping to explain the behavior of subatomic particles, work that has helped shape modern physics theory, the prize committee said on Tuesday.
Yoichiro Nambu and Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan for work that helped show why the universe is made up mostly of matter and not anti-matter via changes known as broken symmetries.
Nambu's analogy likens the changes to when one dinner guest uses the wrong bread plate, forcing all the other guests at a round table to change as well.
The three men's work, done in the 1950s through the 1970s, predicted the behavior of the tiny particles known as quarks and underlies the Standard Model, which unites three of the four fundamental forces of nature: the strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force and electromagnetic force.
Nambu also influenced the development of quantum chromodynamics, which describes some interactions between protons and neutrons, which make up atoms, and the quarks that make up the protons and neutrons.
He shared half of the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.4 million) prize with Kobayashi of Japan's High Energy Accelerator Research Organization and Maskawa of Kyoto University.
Kobayashi and Maskawa predicted there were three families of quarks, instead of the two then known. Their calculations played out as predicted in high-energy particle physics experiments and there are now six known types of quarks -- up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top.
Kobayashi said the news of his Nobel prize came as a shock. "It is my great honor and I can't believe this," he said.
Maskawa said he was not surprised.
"There is a pattern to how the Nobel prize is awarded," he was quoted as saying by Kyodo. "I am very happy that Professor Yoichiro Nambu was awarded. I myself am not that happy."
Physicists are now searching for the broken symmetry, the Higgs mechanism, which threw the universe into imbalance at the time of the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.