Quarks - universe's smallest particles

Nobel Physics for Spontaneous Broken Symmetry

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded in half to Yoichiro Nambu, of the Enrico Fermi Institute of the University of Chicago, and an American citizen, with the other half to Japanese researchers Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa.

They’ve been honored for work investigating the smallest building blocks of matter.

Nambu discovered the mechanism of what is called spontaneous broken symmetry, which the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences says conceals nature’s order under an apparently jumbled surface.

The two Japanese researchers also worked with broken symmetry, discovering that there have to be three families of quarks, the very smallest components of matter known.

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