It’s not every day one finds a connection between a physics Institute in Ireland and the current Noble prize in physics.
I was delighted to see this year’s Nobel go for gauge symmetry (see post below), not only because it gives recognition to a difficult field that has been so important in the evolution of modern particle physics, but because it is exactly the field Lochlainn used to work in. It was also great to see the prize going to three Japanese physicists (Nambu, Kobayashi and Maskawa) as the contribution of the Japanese to gauge theory has been overlooked in the past (it was not realised until recently that gauge theory developed independently in Japan around the same time as its emergence in the west, see here for a reference ).
Kobayashi, Maskawa and Nambu
What I didn’t know is that there is a connection – one of the last scholars to work with Dad at the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies (DIAS) was the brilliant young physicist Izumi Tsutsui, now at KEK (the Japanese CERN), and a colleague of Maskawa. In fact, Izumi was appointed Professor at Tokyo University by Maskawa directly after his stint at DIAS, which gives us a hint that the quality of work at DIAS can’t be too bad. Since then, they have collaborated extensively. It’s lucky Izumi isn’t the type to rest on his laurels…
Izumi Tsutsui: youngets professor in Tokyo U?
Emcouraged by all this, I had a look to see if I could find any Maskawa-Kobayashi-O’Raifeartaigh papers on the web. I couldn’t, but the very first hit on google is a recent paper by Kobayashi that heavily cites the O’Raifeartaigh model. It’s a small world, especially in high energy physics! Who knows, maybe supersmmetry will actually be seen at the LHC, in which case those of us who can’t really understand Lochlainn’s work will at least be able to appreciate its importance….
Correction; Oops, my mistake. Izumi tells me that the author of the paper is a different Kobayashi, a common name in Japan! Still, the DIAS connection with Maskawa via Izumi still stands, and we in Ireland should be proud of this association..