Toshihide Maskawa, Nobel-Winning Japanese Physicist, Dies at 81

Society Science Technology

Tokyo, July 29 (Jiji Press)--Toshihide Maskawa, a Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in the field of particle physics, died of maxillary gingival cancer at his home in Kyoto on Friday. He was 81.

Maskawa, professor emeritus at Kyoto Sangyo University, proposed that there are six types of quarks, a group of elementary particles, in 1973, when only three types had been confirmed.

Together with fellow Nobel laureate Makoto Kobayashi, professor emeritus at Japan's High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, Maskawa proposed a theory that showed that the existence of six types of quarks can explain the lack of antimatter in the universe.

The nonexistence of antimatter was a major mystery to scientists, as it is believed to have been produced along with matter with the birth of the universe.

The last three types of quarks were discovered by 1994, and Maskawa, Kobayashi and Yoichiro Nambu, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008.

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