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Born Jan. 23, 1907, in Tokyo. Japanese physicist. Member of the Japan Academy (1946).
Yukawa graduated from Kyoto University in 1929 and became a lecturer there in 1932. He taught at Osaka University from 1933 to 1939, when he assumed a professorship at Kyoto University. He was a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., in 1948 and at Columbia University from 1949 to 1953. Yukawa served as the director of the Research Institute for Fundamental Physics in Kyoto from 1953 to 1970.
Yukawa’s principal works deal with nuclear physics. In 1935 he proposed a theory of nuclear binding forces that accounted for the short range of their action. It followed from the theory that the interaction of nucleons occurs through the exchange of mesons—particles with a mass of about 300 electron masses. Such particles were experimentally discovered in 1947.
Yukawa received a Nobel Prize in 1949. Yukawa was named a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1966 and a foreign member of the Royal Society of London in 1963.