Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Noble Prize in Physics 2008

News from Stockholm:

The Nobel Prize in Physics goes to Yoichiro Nambu, "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics" and to Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature".


Now, that may help you to decipher half of the cryptic abbreviations NJL and CKM!

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  1. With respect to CKM, as you now the "C" stands for Cabibbo ... isn't strange to give the prize to the last letters instead of the first one ?

    More formally, wasn't Cabibbo who introduced the mixing mechanism, then generalized by K & M ?

    well, mysteries of the Nobel prizes :)

  2. These guys in the Swedish Academy are really cruel. They waited for Nambu to turn 90 to give him the prize? He won't even enjoy the money at this age.

  3. Well, I think the price is for the symmetry breaking not for the mixing.

  4. It's not about the money anyway. Given the global economic meltdown knocking at the door maybe they should have paid him in gallons of oil ;-)

  5. well, you're right ... but it seems strange that someone propose a totally new idea and the prize goes only to the ones that have generalized this new idea including CP violation.

    but maybe I'm only a bit too patriotic :)

  6. Hi Mirco,

    but maybe I'm only a bit too patriotic :)

    your're Italian, I guess ;-). Well, it also struck me that the two Italians involved in the akronyms, Gianni Jona-Lasinio and Nicola Cabibbo, are missing...

    No idea how comes, but I haven't had time yet to have a closer look at the Scientific Background on the Nobel Prize in Physics 2008, which puts an emphasis on "Broken Symmetries". This is probably supposed to be CP violation in the case of "KM".

    Cheers, Stefan

  7. Another Nobel Prize arises from chiral symmetry breaking. The weaker the force the more it is so vulnerable. The weakest force is gravitation. Gravitation should display chiral symmetry breaking in the massed sector.

    It is a simple test in existing apparatus. A parity Eötvös experiment contrasts solid spherical single crystal enantiomorphic space groups P3(1)21 and P3(2)21 quartz test masses. Somebody should look.

  8. Well, with all my the respect to the professor, if a was Nambu, i would have liked to get paid with two tall, blond, Swedish nurses. I mean just to take care of me. Don't get me wrong:-)

  9. Uncle Al,

    You don't make sense. Stop wasting people's time and go get a job.

    You should look.

  10. it seems that particle physics is the field to go if you want a Nobel Prize.

  11. Don't forget! Nambu with Han also invented the 3 colors of quarks.
    Gell-Mann modified this a little. And added the gluons.



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