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Nobel Prize in physics shared for work that unifies forces of nature

Understanding of broken symmetry has been crucial to the standard model of particle physics

The 2008 Nobel Prize in physics has been awarded to three theoretical physicists for advances involving the concept of symmetry breaking. The theory highlights how three of the four seemingly disparate forces in nature fall under the same umbrella. The work forms a cornerstone of the standard model of particle physics.

Half of the $1.4 million prize goes to Yoichiro Nambu of the University of Chicago’s Enrico Fermi Institute. He began formulating his mathematical description of a type of symmetry violation, known as spontaneous broken symmetry, as early as 1960.

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