23 January: Remembering Hideki Yukawa on Birth Anniversary

OV Digital Desk
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Hideki Yukawa

Hideki Yukawa (23 January 1907 – 8 September 1981) was a Japanese theoretical physicist. He received the Nobel Prize in 1949.

Life and Career

He was born on 23 January 1907, in Tokyo, Japan. He got his formal education in Kyoto and called it home. Yukawa was enrolled in Kyoto’s Third High School in 1923.

Then, he studied at Kyoto Imperial University and got his graduate degree in 1926. He became a lecturer at Kyoto Imperial University.

He became an assistant professor at Osaka University in Japan in 1933. Afterward, he went to Osaka University, where he earned his doctorate in 1938.

During 1948-49, Hideki was a visiting professor at Princeton University. In 1949, he became a professor of Physics at Columbia University, USA.

He served as director of the Research Institute for Fundamental Physics in Kyoto from 1953 to 1970.

He died on 8 September 1981 in Kyoto, Japan.

Major Works

He published a paper in 1935 called “On the Interaction of Elementary Particles I.

He proposed a theory of weak and strong nuclear forces. He showed a new type of particle as the carrier particle. There was a particle called the U-quantum, later renamed the meson because it had the mass between electrons and protons.

He developed the Meson theory which influenced nuclear and high-energy physics a lot.

His life was dedicated to the study of elementary particles based on his concept of “non-local fields” starting in 1947.

He also worked on the K-Capture theory during his long research career. A low-energy electron gets absorbed by a nucleus in this theory.


In 1949, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work on elementary particles, becoming the first Japanese scientist to win it.

In 1940, he was awarded the Imperial Prize of the Japan Academy. He got the Decoration of Cultural Merit from the Japanese government in 1943.

In 1964, he received the Lomonosov Gold Medal.

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