Yoichiro Nambu, 1921–, Japanese-American physicist, b. Tokyo, D.Sc. Univ. of Tokyo, 1952. He studied at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, with Albert Einstein from 1952–54 and has been a professor at the Univ. of Chicago since then. Nambu, who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics with Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa, received it for his discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics. Spontaneous broken symmetry hides nature's order under a surface that appears disorganized, and is a concept that underlies the standard model of elementary particle physics. The three physicists are credited with providing insights into what happens within the smallest building blocks of matter.
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