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コンピュータの黎明期(Dawn of the Computer)

At Osaka University, research and prototyping of vacuum tube computers started just after the Second World War. The exhibit introduces the vacuum tube computers that had just been newly invented at the time, as well as leading researchers who paved the way for the future.

Osaka University Vacuum Tube Computer

(National Museum of Nature and Science, Essential Historical Material for Science and Technology No. 00014 in 2008, Information Processing Technology Heritage in 2009)

The Jo Research Group (Kenzo Jo, Saburo Makinouchi, Hiroshi Yasui), which succeeded in prototype experiments of the ENIAC decimal arithmetic device, started a full-scale development of an internally-programed, EDSAC-model binary computing system, the end goal for research at the time, after receiving a scientific research grant in 1953. Development lagged due to budget restrictions and lack of manpower, and full completion of the system was halted at the final adjustment stage due to the introduction of domestic transistor-type commercial computers. The development of the Osaka University vacuum pipe computer was one of the first projects of its kind in Japan, and garnered a high level of attention. It played a great role in pioneering future developments of computers.

 

世界にはばたく研究者(Researchers Active in the World)

A physics classroom where Hideki Yukawa, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics, developed the idea of the Meson theory. This exhibit introduces the liberated research environment of the School of Science, which was known to be the core of Japanese science at the time, and the School’s various researchers.

Hideki Yukawa and the Nobel Prize

In 1935, Hideki Yukawa (27 years old at the time), who was a lecturer in the Laboratory of Physics at Faculty of Science, Osaka Imperial University,  presented a thesis called “On the Interaction of Elementary Particles, I” (the first thesis on mesons), which proposed the existence of a then-unknown particle called a “meson”: the carrier of a binding force (nuclear force) between protons and neutrons that comprise a nucleus. This theory was proved through experimentation in 1947, and Yukawa received the Nobel Prize for Physics “for his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces.” Yukawa’s innovative ideas were bred in Osaka University’s free and open-minded learning environment, leading to Japan’s achievement of its first Nobel Prize.