Hideki Yukawa

Yukawa Hideki (Japanese汤 川 秀 树, born January 23, 1907 in Azabu, Tokyo (now Minato, Tokyo ); † September 8, 1981 in Kyoto, Japan) was awarded in 1949 as the first Japanese physicist awarded the Nobel Prize, and indeed for his prediction of the existence of mesons, which was based on the theory of nuclear forces.

Life and work

After Yukawa in 1929 received his degree from Kyoto University, he remained as a lecturer for another four years at the university. There he dealt mainly with theoretical physics, and especially with elementary particles.

In 1932 he married Sumiko and had with her two sons, Harumi and Takaaki. At 26, he became an instructor ( and assistant professor ) at the University of Osaka, where he had his doctorate under Seishi Kikuchi (1938).

In 1935, he finally published his theory of nuclear forces by the exchange of mesons ( Yukawa potential), the Kurzreichweitigkeit the interaction between protons and neutrons explained due to the mass of the exchange particle ( in this case, pions ).

Yukawa in 1940 Professor at Kyoto University and received the Imperial Prize of the Academy of Sciences.

In 1943 he received an award for Cultural Merit by the Japanese government ( Decoration of cultural merit). In 1948 he was a visiting scientist at the Institute for Advanced Study and in 1949 he was a visiting professor at Columbia University.

In 1953 he became the first chairman was founded on 1952 Research Institute for Fundamental Physics (Research Institute for Fundamental Physics, RIFP ), the later Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics at Kyoto University.

He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Paris, was an honorary citizen of Kyoto and a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Indian Academy of Sciences, the International Academy of Philosophy and Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences ( Pontificia Academia Scientiarum ).

1955 signed Yukawa with ten other leading scientists the Russell -Einstein Manifesto, in which he spoke out for a disarmament of nuclear weapons.

He was in Theoretical Physics since 1946 editor of the journal Progress.


Hideki named in honor of the makers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a space ship class after him.


  • Yukawa: Introduction to quantum mechanics. 1946 (in Japanese )
  • Yukawa: Introduction to the theory of elementary particles. 1948 ( Japanese)
  • Yukawa: On the interaction of elementary particles I. In: Proceedings of the Physico - Mathematical Society of Japan. 3rd Series, Volume 17, 1935, pp. 48-57 ( Yukawa interaction)