Nambu receives warm reception from students, colleagues at Nobel celebrationBy Steve Koppes
The early 1950s were restless times for Yoichiro Nambu, the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Physics.
Nambu recalled his journey to the United States and the University before a packed crowd on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 10 in the third-floor atrium of the Gordon Center for Integrative Science. Several hundred members of the University community had assembled in the Kersten Family Atrium to congratulate Nambu on his 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.
As a young professor at Osaka City University, Nambu in 1952 took a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. Then it was on to Chicago in 1954. Nambu had not intended to spend his entire career here, but “I liked it so much, I ended up staying here until now,” he said.
Provost Thomas Rosenbaum, the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor in Physics and the College, commended Nambu for “thinking hard about fundamental problems,” then devising solutions “that have impact across a spectrum of physics,” from understanding basic concepts of fundamental particles to applications in superconductivity and magnetism.
Following Rosenbaum’s champagne toast to Nambu, Physical Sciences Dean Robert Fefferman thanked Nambu for his long association with the University.
“It gives me tremendous pride to be associated with this place,” said Fefferman, the Max Mason Distinguished Service Professor in Mathematics and the College. “The best things we do literally change the history of human thought,” he said.
George Hisaeda, the Consul General of Japan at Chicago, presented Nambu with a floral bouquet. Fefferman then introduced Nambu to the crowd, who was greeted with enthusiastic applause.
“I am very happy indeed,” Nambu said.