Biography:Makoto Kobayashi (physicist)

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Short description: Japanese physicist
小林 誠
Makoto Kobayashi
Makoto Kobayashi-press conference Dec 07th, 2008-2b.jpg
Kobayashi in 2008
Born (1944-04-07) April 7, 1944 (age 80)
Alma materNagoya University
Known forWork on CP violation
CKM matrix
AwardsSakurai Prize (1985)
Japan Academy Prize (1985)
Asahi Prize (1995)
High Energy and Particle Physics Prize (2007)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2008)
Scientific career
FieldsHigh energy physics (theory)
InstitutionsKyoto University
High Energy Accelerator Research Organization
Doctoral advisorShoichi Sakata

Makoto Kobayashi (小林 誠, Kobayashi Makoto, born April 7, 1944, in Nagoya, Japan) is a Japanese physicist known for his work on CP-violation who was awarded one-fourth of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature."[1]

Early life and education

Makoto Kobayashi was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1944.[2][3] When he was two years old, Kobayashi's father Hisashi died. The Kobayashi family home was destroyed by the Bombing of Nagoya, so they stayed at his mother's (surnamed Kaifu) family house. One of Makoto's cousins, Toshiki Kaifu, the 51st Prime Minister of Japan, was living in the same place.[4] His other cousin was an astronomer, Norio Kaifu.[5] Many years later, Toshiki Kaifu recalled Kobayashi: "when he was a child, he was a quiet and lovely boy, always reading some difficult books in my room. I think this is the beginning of his sudden change into a genius."[4]

After graduating from the School of Science of Nagoya University in 1967,[2][3] he obtained a DSc degree from the Graduate School of Science of Nagoya University in 1972.[6] During college years, he received guidance from Shoichi Sakata and others.


Nicola Cabibbo and Makoto Kobayashi
Paul Krugman, Roger Tsien, Martin Chalfie, Osamu Shimomura, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Masukawa, Nobel Prize Laureates 2008, at a press conference at the Swedish Academy of Science in Stockholm.

After completing his doctoral research at Nagoya University in 1972, Kobayashi worked as a research associate on particle physics at Kyoto University. Together, with his colleague Toshihide Maskawa, he worked on explaining CP-violation within the Standard Model of particle physics. Kobayashi and Maskawa's theory required that there were at least three generations of quarks, a prediction that was confirmed experimentally four years later by the discovery of the bottom quark.

Kobayashi and Maskawa's article, "CP Violation in the Renormalizable Theory of Weak Interaction",[7] published in 1973, is the fourth most cited high energy physics paper of all time as of 2010.[8] The Cabibbo–Kobayashi–Maskawa matrix, which defines the mixing parameters between quarks was the result of this work. Kobayashi and Maskawa were jointly awarded half of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for this work, with the other half going to Yoichiro Nambu.[1]

In recognition of three Nobel laureates' contributions, the bronze statues of Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, Leo Esaki, and Makoto Kobayashi was set up in the Central Park of Azuma 2 in Tsukuba City in 2015.[9]

Professional record

  • April 1972 – Research Associate of the Faculty of Science, Kyoto University
  • July 1979 – Associate Professor of the National Laboratory of High Energy Physics (KEK)
  • April 1989 – Professor of the National Laboratory of High Energy Physics (KEK), Head of Physics Division II
  • April 1997 – Professor of the Institute of Particle and Nuclear Science, KEK, Head of Physics Division II
  • April 2003 – Director, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies, KEK
  • April 2004 – Trustee (Director, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies), KEK (Inter-University Research Institute Corporation)
  • June 2006 – Professor Emeritus of KEK
  • 2008 – Distinguished Invited University Professor of Nagoya University
  • 2009
    • Special Honored Professor of KEK
    • Trustee and Director of Academic System Institute, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
    • University Professor of Nagoya University
  • 2010
    • Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe (KMI) at Nagoya University
    • Member of the Japan Academy
  • 2016 – Superadvisor of Yokohama Science Frontier High School
  • 2018
    • April – Director of the Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe (KMI) at Nagoya University
  • 2019 – Second Honorary Director of the Nagoya City Science Museum
  • 2020
    • April – Director Emeritus of KMI at Nagoya University


  • 1979 – Nishina Memorial Prize
  • 1985 – Sakurai Prize
  • 1995 – Asahi Prize
  • 2001 – Person of Cultural Merit
  • 2007 – High Energy and Particle Physics Prize by European Physical Society
  • 2008 – Nobel Prize in Physics
  • In October 2008, Kobayashi was honored with Japan's Order of Culture; and an awards ceremony for the Order of Culture was held at the Tokyo Imperial Palace.
  • 2010 – Member of Japan Academy

Personal life

Kobayashi was born and educated in Nagoya, Japan . He married Sachiko Enomoto in 1975; they had one son, Junichiro. After his first wife died, Kobayashi married Emiko Nakayama in 1990, they had a daughter, Yuka.[10]

See also

  • Progress of Theoretical Physics
  • List of Nobel laureates affiliated with Kyoto University
  • List of Japanese Nobel laureates


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Nobel Prize in Physics 2008, The Nobel Foundation,, retrieved 2009-10-17 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Makoto Kobayashi" (Press release). High Energy Accelerator Research Organization. 6 July 2007. Archived from the original on 9 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  3. 3.0 3.1 L. Hoddeson (1977). "Flavor Mixing and CP Violation". The Rise of the Standard Model. Cambridge University Press. p. 137. ISBN 0-521-57816-7. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "英語、大嫌い 授賞式が初の海外 ノーベル賞益川氏".朝日新聞社). 2008-10-07. 
  5. Kobayashi, Makoto (2008). "The Nobel Prize in Physics 2008" (in en-US). 
  6. Makoto Kobayashi - website of Nagoya University
  7. M. Kobayashi, T. Maskawa (1973). "CP-Violation in the Renormalizable Theory of Weak Interaction". Progress of Theoretical Physics 49 (2): 652–657. doi:10.1143/PTP.49.652. Bibcode1973PThPh..49..652K. 
  8. "Top Cited Articles of All Time (2010 edition)". SPIRES database. 
  9. ノーベル賞:江崎、小林、朝永氏の銅像やレリーフ設置 完成記念式でお披露目 「子どもが夢を」−−つくば・中央公園 /茨城 - 毎日新聞
  10. Miss nobel-id as parameter , accessed 11 October 2020

External links