Neutrino experts share Nobel Prize in Physics

Japanese and Canadian professors awarded prize for their work on ‘nature’s most elusive elementary particles’

October 6, 2015
neutrinos sun bombarded nobel winning scientists
Source: istock
The Earth is bombarded with billions of neutrinos from the Sun's rays

Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on subatomic particles called neutrinos.

Takaaki Kajita, from the University of Tokyo, and Arthur B. McDonald, from Queen’s University, in Kingston, Canada, share the 2015 prize for discovering how neutrinos change identities and therefore must have mass.

“The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe,” said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as it announced the award this morning.

The pair’s work has helped to explain why neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth, as previously thought, but had actually changed identities, the Nobel panel said.

“A neutrino puzzle that physicists had wrestled with for decades had been resolved,” a spokesman said in a release issued on 6 October.

According to the Nobel panel, neutrinos are “nature’s most elusive elementary particles”, which constantly bombard the Earth – with thousands of billions of neutrinos streaming through our bodies each second.

“New discoveries about their deepest secrets are expected to change our current understanding of the history, structure and future fate of the universe,” the Nobel panel said.

The win for Professor Kajita follows Japan’s success in last year’s physics category after three Japan-born scientists shared the prize for the invention of the blue light-emitting diode (LED).

Yesterday, Youyou Tu, an expert in Chinese traditional medicine who developed a breakthrough treatment for malaria, was named as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine – China’s first homegrown Nobel science laureate.

jack.grove@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Reader in Politics and Policy

St Marys University, Twickenham

Engineer

Cern

Professor of Anthropology

Maynooth University

Preceptor in Statistics

Harvard University

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Electrochemistry

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework