J. J. Sakurai

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Jun John Sakurai
Born (1933-01-31)January 31, 1933
Died November 1, 1982(1982-11-01) (aged 49)
Nationality Japan, United States
Fields Physics

University of Chicago
University of California, Los Angeles
California Institute of Technology

Universities of Tokyo and Nagoya
University of Paris at Orsay
Scuola Normale Superiore at Pisa
Stanford Linear Accelerator
CERN at Geneva
Max Planck Institute at Munich
Alma mater Bronx High School of Science
Harvard University
Cornell University

Jun John Sakurai (桜井 純, Sakurai Jun, January 31, 1933 – November 1, 1982) was a Japanese-American particle physicist and theorist.

While a graduate student at Cornell, Sakurai independently discovered the V-A theory of weak interactions.[1]

He authored the popular graduate text Modern Quantum Mechanics (1985-posthumous) and other texts such as Invariance Principles and Elementary Particles (1964) and Advanced Quantum Mechanics (1967).

Life and career[edit]

Jun Sakurai was born in Tokyo in 1933 and moved to the United States when he was a high school student. He studied Physics at Harvard and Cornell, where he proposed his theory of weak interactions. After receiving his PhD from Cornell in 1958 he joined the faculty at University of Chicago, becoming a full professor in 1964. His work there included a paper on the theory of the strong interactions based on Yang-Mills gauge invariance. He also worked on the vector meson dominance model of hadron dynamics. [2] In 1970, Sakurai moved to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he remained until his death in 1982.


In addition to his published papers, Sakurai authored several textbooks. These include "Invariance Principles and Elementary Particles" (1964), "Advanced Quantum Mechanics" (1967), and "Modern Quantum Mechanics." The third volume was left unfinished due to Sakurai's sudden death in 1982, but was later edited and completed with the help of his wife, Noriko Sakurai, and colleague San Fu Tuan. [3] Modern Quantum Mechanics is probably his most well known book and is still widely used for graduate studies today. [4]

Sakurai Prize[edit]

In 1984 the family and friends of J. J. Sakurai endowed a prize for theoretical physicists in his honor. The goal of the prize as stated on the APS website is to encourage outstanding work in the field of particle theory. Recipients receive a $10,000 grant, an allowance for travel to the ceremony, and a certificate citing their contributions to particle physics. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nambu, Yoichiro (February 1983). "Obituary: Jun John Sakurai". Physics Today. 36 (2): 87. Bibcode:1983PhT....36b..87N. doi:10.1063/1.2915507. 
  2. ^ J. J. Sakurai, San Fu Tuan. Modern Quantum Mechanics: Revised Edition. Pearson Education, 1994. pg. 7
  3. ^ J. J. Sakurai, San Fu Tuan. Modern Quantum Mechanics: Revised Edition. Pearson Education, 1994. pg. 3
  4. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Quantum-Mechanics-2nd-Edition/dp/0805382917
  5. ^ http://www.aps.org/programs/honors/prizes/sakurai.cfm

External links[edit]