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Meet the Laureate—Japanese Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Professor
Kobayashi Made Talks at NTU

Professor Makato Kobayashi, who just won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008, came to visit Taiwan on February 1st. He paid a courtesy call to NTU on February 2nd, accompanied by Mr. Atsuto Suzuki, Chief Organization Officer of Japan's High Energy Accelerator Research Organization and Mr. Masanori Yamauchi, Vice President of Japan's IPNS (Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies). The three Japanese guests met with Vice President Dr. George Tai-Jen Chen, who was accompanied by Director of International Affairs Dr. Tung-Shen, Head of the Department of Physics Dr. Yee Hsiung, and a number of professors from the Department of Physics.

During the meeting, NTU gave a presentation of its globalization efforts. Professor Kobayashi praised the high school students of Taiwan, saying that compared with the high school students of Japan, Taiwan's high school students had a very impressive love and enthusiasm for science. NTU mentioned that the science camp held at the Hsi-tou forest park every year was very well received by the participating students. In the interview process, the Department of Physics capitalized on this rare opportunity to exchange ideas with the Nobel Laureate, and both sides had a rewarding experience. Before the end of the meeting, NTU enthusiastically invited Professor Kobayashi to re-visit, and arrangements were made for further talks of a more profound nature.

Professor Kobayashi's itinerary in Taiwan included meeting with President Ying-Jeou Ma and visits to the important research institutes such as Academia Sinica and the National Science Council. On February 2nd, the Department of Physics held a symposium called "Meet the Laureate", where Professor Kobayashi talked with university and high school students. The symposium was very well received and won critical acclaim.

In 1972, Professor Kobayashi proposed the "CP Symmetrical Violation" theory with Professor Toshihide Maskawa, who taught at the Kyoto University with him. They predicted the existence of the third category of quark. It was not until 2001 that the particle scholars of Japan and United States independently found the existence of spontaneous symmetry breaking, which proved their theory of thirty years ago. The "Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa Matrix" (CKM matrix) which they proposed is now very well known.

Professor Kobayashi is now 65 years of age (born April 7, 1944). Born in Nagoya, Aichi County, he graduated from the Department of Physics of Nagoya University in 1967, and earned his doctorate from Nagoya University in March, 1972. His research interest was focused on basic particle theories, and he became well-known in the physical society of Japan for his CP symmetrical theories. Because he proposed the CKM Matrix theory with Toshihide Maskawa, which could explain the phenomenon of charge parity non-conservation, and because he predicted the existence of at least three types of quark which had not yet been discovered at that time, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008. Professor Kobayashi is now Professor Emeritus of Japan's KEK(the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, which originally was a national laboratory of Japan's Ministry of Education. After it became a corporate entity in 2004, the KEK was transformed into an organization belonging to a corps of Japanese universities for high energy physics research and accelerator studies) and a fellow of at the Institute des Hautes Etudes Internationales.

After Kobayashi became an associate professor for KEK in 1979, he got involved in the Tristan collider project. In 1989 he became the Director of Physics Division II, and was responsible for the experimental study groups, planning the accelerator after Tristan (the B factory which proved that charge parity was for violation purposes in B meson systems). In 1994 he began to build accelerators and detectors (the Belle Experiment, Taiwan's researchers began to get involved at this time), which began operation in 1999. In 2001 he proved the CKM Matrix. Professor Kobayashi became the Director of IPNS (an expansion of the KEK) and was responsible for experimental projects including the B Factory accelerator, the corporation of KEK, while the B factory accelerator progressed steadily. In 2006 he retired from KEK, and in 2007 he became the CEO of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Chinese version