Nambu, Kobayashi and Maskawa

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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2 Responses to Nambu, Kobayashi and Maskawa

  1. […] tutti ne parlano [qui][qui], per cui non posso stare zitto. Quest’anno il premio Nobel ha sfiorato l’Italia, e non […]

  2. carlbrannen says:

    On the subject of the CKM and MNS matrices, I think it is an interesting (and little known) fact that every 3×3 unitary matrix is equivalent, under multiplication of the rows and columns by arbitrary complex phases, into a unique 3×3 unitary matrix that happens to have the sum of all rows and columns equal to 1. This process gives a unique representation of a 3×3 unitary matrix.

    When you do this to the MNS matrix, the result has a stunning simplicity. The CKM matrix works out not quite so simple.

    The observation is due to Marni Sheppeard, but the calculations are my own. I would love to see the CKM matrix made simple and elegant this way but so far it has eluded me. Maybe it is time to start thinking about it again; the subconscious mind sometimes makes progress.

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