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National News

Japan receives two Nobel prizes in one year - in physics and chemistry

Masatoshi Koshiba, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, and two American researchers won the 2002 Nobel Prize in physics for "pioneering contributions to astrophysics," including the detection of cosmic neutrinos, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Oct. 8.

Koshiba, 76, and Raymond Davis, Jr., 87, of the University of Pennsylvania, will share half of the 10 million kronor (¥130 million) prize for their research into subatomic particles known as cosmic neutrinos.

Riccardo Giacconi, 71, of the Associated Universities Inc. in Washington, D.C., will get the other half of the prize for his construction of instruments needed to investigate cosmic X-ray radiation absorbed in the Earth's atmosphere.

Their achievements had created the foundation of a new field, neutrino-astronomy, which is of great importance for elementary particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology.

The next day, Koichi Tanaka, chief of the Life Science Laboratory at Shimadzu Corp., a Kyoto-based precision machinery maker, and two others won the 2002 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Tanaka, 43, shared the prize with John Fenn of the United States and Kurt Wuethrich of Switzerland for "development of methods for identification and structure analyses of biological macromolecules," including proteins, said the academy.

The techniques they developed will lead to quicker detection of cancers, discovery of new drugs for a variety of diseases and new ways to monitor contamination of foods.

Tanaka and Fenn, 85, of the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, will share half of their prize.

Wuethrich, 64, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., will get the other half.

This is the first time two Japanese have won Nobel prizes in the same year. Tanaka is the 12th Japanese to win a Nobel and the first Japanese corporate researcher to win the prestigious prize.


日本人2人がノーベル賞受賞

スウェーデン王立科学アカデミーは、ノーベル物理学賞を小柴昌俊・東京大名誉教授ら3人に、ノーベル化学賞を島津製作所の田中耕一さんら3人に贈ると発表した。同年に2人の日本人が受賞するのは初めて。



Shukan ST: Oct. 18, 2002

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