Journal rchive Stories

Introduction of the Journals of the Physico-Mathematical Society

2006/03/27: No.1; Journals of the Physico-Mathematical Society and Hideki Yukawa

January 23, 2007, will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Hideki Yukawa, the first Nobel Prize winner (physics) in Japan. The journal in which the papers of the famous meson theory by Yukawa were printed was the "Journal of the Physico-Mathematical Society." The "Journal of the Physico-Mathematical Society" is an academic journal published by an academic society jointly formed between the fields of mathematics and physics, whose original name was the "Tokyo Mathematical Society" that was founded in 1877. Since the names of the society and the journal were often changed, the name of the "Journal of the Physico-Mathematical Society" is adopted here as the general name. The paper of Yukawa was printed in this journal, which was known as the " Proceedings of the Physico-Mathematical Society of Japan ", in Vol.17 (1935), p.48-57 under the title of " On the Interaction of Elementary Particles (I). "

Although it has been well known that the research on meson theory by Yukawa was conducted when he was a lecturer at Osaka University, he had written no paper until then, and this was the first paper of his to be printed. (Actually, when Yukawa was an unpaid assistant at Kyoto University he wrote a paper on another subject besides meson theory; however, Professor Kajuro Tamaki, who had no interest in other areas besides that of the relativity theory, stored Yukawa's papers in a safe box and completely forgot about them.) Yukawa consecutively contributed seven papers to the above journal until 1937. The speed of submission was further accelerated following the discovery of mesons by Anderson and Neddermeyer in 1936, and he contributed the series of papers II, III and IV with the same title as the first one during 1936-1938. Yukawa was completely unknown abroad at that time.  Therefore, if there had not been an English language journal in Japan that could accept the papers of Yukawa, he would not have been recognized internationally, and might not have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Actually, after Anderson's discovery, Yukawa submitted a paper to the famous journal, "Nature", insisting that this particle was what he had discovered, but his proposal was rejected for printing in the journal. According to "Collected Papers of Hideki Yukawa" (Iwanami Shoten, 1979), he contributed 14 papers in total to the "Journal of the Physico-Mathematical Society." This journal also featured the papers of many other famous scholars, such as Shinichiro Tomonaga, Shoichi Sakata and Mitsuo Taketani.

(Tetsuro Saso: Professor at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University)

Hideki Yukawa
(Provided by RIKEN (the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research))