Nambu, Kobayashi and Maskawa

07/10/2008

It is appeared the announcement of the Royal Swedish Academy for the 2008 Nobel prize in physics (see here).  The prize has been awarded to Yoichiro Nambu, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa. Yoichiro Nambu has been awarded for his discovery of spontaneous breaking of simmetry in particle physics. A pair of fundamental papers about this fundational issue were written in collaboration with Giovanni Jona-Lasinio. These were the starting point of an idea that permeates the standard model. Kobayashi and Maskawa extended the idea due to Nicola Cabibbo of a quark mixing. Together with the Higgs mechanism this generated the idea that, in order to reproduce the observed pattern of CP violation, one should have at least three quark families. This prediction was confirmed with the observation of bottom and top quarks.


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