Birthplace: Toyama City, Japan
Race or Ethnicity: Asian
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Refinements in mass spectrometry
Educated at Tohoku University and immediately hired by the Central Research Laboratory of Shimadzu Corporation. There, Tanaka developed a technique of mass spectrometry, called "soft laser desorption", when in 1985 he used the wrong type of Ultra Fine Metallic Powder as a matrix in an experiment (glycerine base instead of cobalt base). When drying the powder, he noticed a signal peak in a place where it was not expected, the result of ionization. This ionization happily made much more accurate spectometry possible.
Mother: (d. 1959)
Wife: Yuko Ikegami (m. 1995)
High School: Toyama Chubu High School, Toyama Prefecture
University: Tohoku University (1983)
Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2002 (with John B. Fenn and Kurt WŁthrich)
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