Moo-Young Han

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Han.
Moo-Young Han
Born 1934 (age 80–81)
Seoul, Korea
Alma mater Carroll College
University of Rochester
Employer Duke University
Known for Introducing the SU(3) symmetry of quarks
Korean name
Hangul 한무영
Revised Romanization Han Mu-yeong
McCune–Reischauer Han Muyŏng

Moo-Young Han (born 1934) is a professor of physics at Duke University. Along with Yoichiro Nambu of the University of Chicago, he is credited with introducing the SU(3) symmetry of quarks, today known as the color charge.[1] The color charge is the basis of the strong force as explained by quantum chromodynamics.

Early life and career[edit]

Han was born in Seoul, Korea. He emigrated to the US after the Korean War to attend Carroll College. He received his Ph.D from the University of Rochester and has been on the Duke physics faculty since 1967.


Moo-Young Han received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1964 from the University of Rochester. His research specialty is in the field of theoretical particle physics, with an emphasis on the symmetry principles of elementary particle physics. In 1965, Dr. Han together with Dr. Yoichiro Nambu of the University of Chicago (2008 Nobel Prize in Physics) first introduced a new hidden symmetry among quarks. That is the origin of what is now called the color SU(3) symmetry, distinct from the symmetry among hadrons, now called the flavor SU(3). The SU(3) symmetry of Han and Nambu is the basis for the quantum chromodynamics (QCD) now the standard theory for the strong nuclear force sector of the Standard Model.

Professor Y. Nambu shared 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics for a related work on applying the mechanism of spontaneously broken symmetry that enabled the electroweak sector of the Standard Model.

During 1993-95, he served as the inaugurating Chair of the Outstanding Young Researcher Award (OYRA) Committee of AKPA. He is an honorary member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and a recipient of the 1998 Global Korea Award by the Council on Korean Studies of the Michigan State University. In May 2001, Dr. Han delivered the keynote address at the 2001 Asian Pacific Heritage Month Celebration at the US-Environmental Protection Agency in Research Tringle Park, North Carolina. The title of his keynote address was "The New New World."

Dr. Han is the founding Chairman of the Society of Korean-American Scholars (SKAS) and has been serving as its Editor-in-Chief ever since. SKAS publishes two alternating weekly electronic newsletters, KASTN and IEKAS, the Korean American Science and Technology News and the Information Exchange for Korean American Scholars, respectively.

While on leave at the University of California at Merced in the fall of 2008, Dr. Han delivered a special seminar explaining the spontaneously broken symmetry of Y. Nambu that earned Nambu the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics.

While on leave at the Seoul National University in Korea in the fall of 2009, Dr. Han delivered a colloquim titled "Nambu and the Standard Model" and taught a special course titled "Physics for Humanities and Social Sciences Course at Seoul National University.

In the fall of 2013, Dr. Han spent time at KAIST, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, in Daejeon Korea during which he completed his fifth and sixth books. At KAIST he served as Adjunct Professor of Physics for the duration.[2]


Han is the author of 4 books on quantum physics and advanced technology:

  • The Secret Life Of Quanta (1990, McGraw-Hill)
  • The Probable Universe (1993, McGraw-Hill)
  • Quarks And Gluons (1999, World Scientific)
  • A Story Of Light: A Short Introduction to Quantum Field Theory of Quarks and Leptons (2004, World Scientific).


  1. ^ Ryder, Lewis H. (1996). Quantum Field Theory. Cambridge University Press. p. 18. ISBN 0-521-47242-3. 
  2. ^

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