is a Japan-born American physicist, currently a professor at the University of Chicago. Known for his contributions to the field of theoretical physics, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008 for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics.
Nambu was born in Tokyo
in 1921. After graduating from Fujishima High School
in Fukui City
, he enrolled in the Tokyo Imperial University
and studied physics. He received his B.S. in 1942 and D.Sc. in 1952. In 1949 he was appointed to associate professor at the Osaka City University
and promoted to professorship next year at the age of 29.
In 1952 he was invited by the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey to study. He moved to the University of Chicago and was promoted to professor in 1958. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1970.
Career in physics
He is famous for having proposed the "color charge" of quantum chromodynamics
, for having done early work on spontaneous symmetry breaking
in particle physics, and for having discovered that the dual resonance model
could be explained as a quantum mechanical theory of strings. He is accounted as one of the founders of string theory
. He has won numerous honors and awards including the J. Robert Oppenheimer Prize, the U.S.'s National Medal of Science
, Japan's Order of Culture
, the Planck Medal
, the Wolf Prize
, the Franklin Institute
's Franklin Medal, the Dirac Medal
, and the Sakurai Prize
. He was awarded one-half of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics
(currently approximately 10 million SEK
, slightly more than €1 million or US$1.6 million or £0.8 million) "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics".
After a 50-year career as a physics professor at the University of Chicago, he is now its Henry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at its Department of Physics and Enrico Fermi Institute.
The Nambu-Goto action in string theory is named after Nambu and Tetsuo Goto. Also, massless bosons arising in field theories with spontaneous symmetry breaking are sometimes referred to as Nambu-Goldstone bosons.