Makoto Kobayashi

Makoto Kobayashi. Japanese physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008 , who shares it with his colleague Toshihide Maskawa and Yoichiro Nambu , for discovering the origin of the broken symmetry that allows predicting the existence of at least three families of quarks – key particles of matter – in nature .

Biographical synthesis

He was born in Nagoya, Japan on April 7 , 1944 . Kobayashi was an honorary professor at the Tsukuba Research Center in Japan.


Kobayashi and his colleagues provided an explanation that was essential to the foundations of the so-called Standard Model of physics, which postulates that if the universe were perfectly symmetrical, there would be neither life, nor human beings, nor universe. The interactions of matter with its opposite and symmetrical elements, called antiparticles, would have mutually annulled each other, thereby abolishing all possible existence.

In the immediate continuation of the initial explosion of the universe, these breaks in symmetries allowed the survival of a group of matter, in a proportion of one particle of matter for every 10 billion antimatter. With these words the Nobel Committee in Stockholm explained the importance of the awarded works.

“This (scarce) leftover matter was the seeding of our entire universe, which was filled with galaxies, stars and planets, and finally with life.”

The aforementioned researchers had already observed this phenomenon in their laboratories in the 1960s, but were then unable to provide an explanation. The two Japanese postulated in 1972 at the University of Kyoto that these breaks could be incorporated into current theories, on the condition that among the particles there was a third generation of quarks at that time not yet discovered. The required quarks were detected in 1977 the so-called “bottom” and in 1994 the so-called “top”, completing the family of pairs of quarks necessary to authorize the consistency of the theory.

“Spontaneous symmetry breaks hide the order of nature under a messy surface,” explained the Nobel Committee, although the reason for the excess of material immediately after the Big Bang is still pending explanation . The causes of the residue left by the reciprocal cancellation of matter are being investigated by the gigantic particle accelerator launched by CERN in Switzerland .

Kobayashi, a disciple of Nambu before he emigrated to the United States , wrote a scientific report with Maskawa called “CP violation in the renormalized theory of weak interaction”, which was one of the most cited reports of 2007. As a result of the work, The Caribbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix has been designed, used to determine the mixing parameters between quarks.


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