Creative Research Medal 2010
Kanzo Nakayama, associate professor of physics and astronomy, is a world leader in theoretical nuclear physics, especially hadron structure and reactions. In particle physics, a hadron is a particle made of quarks held together by the strong force. He is involved in a worldwide effort to unravel the complex technical problems of Quantum Chromodynamics, whereby quarks are prevented from being observed isolated in nature. Nakayama and his collaborators developed a new reaction theory that is currently being applied with great success to describe a variety of photoproduction pro- cesses—and to analyze data from major hadron physics laboratories around the world. It’s also helping to settle a long-standing discrepancy between the prior theory and high-precision experimental data on the nucleon- nucleon bremsstrahlung reaction process, one of the fundamental processes in hadron physics. Nakayama’s remarkable predictions are already serving as a guide in the design of new experiments that will probe the most relevant physical observables and thus, provide the greatest insights.