Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 Announced

The Nobel Prize 2015 in Physics jointly went to Takaaki Kajita from the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald from Queen’s University, Canada.




The Nobel was awarded “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos 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 a press release.

Mr. Kajita discovered that neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between two identities when coming to Japan’s Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector.

On the other hand, the research group Mr. McDonald demonstrated that the neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth. Instead they were captured with a different identity when arriving to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

“Compared to theoretical calculations of the number of neutrinos, up to two thirds of the neutrinos were missing in measurements performed on Earth. Now, the two experiments discovered that the neutrinos had changed identities. The discovery led to the far-reaching conclusion that neutrinos, which for a long time were considered massless, must have some mass, however small,” said the press release.

Mr. Kajita is director of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and professor at the University of Tokyo.

Mr. McDonald is a professor emeritus at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

The winners will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (about $960,000) prize money with one half going to Mr. McDonand and the other to Mr Kajita. Each winner will also get a diploma and a gold medal at the annual award ceremony on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel.