Super-Kamiokande and T2K Experiments Awarded Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Approximately 1300 physicists from five experiments were awarded a share of the $3M Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The prizes were presented at a live ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10/9c on National Geographic Channel. Duke University physicists made major contributions to two of the five recognized groups of experiments: Super-Kamiokande and both the T2K and K2K experiments.

The leaders of the experiments Takaaki Kajita, Yoichiro Suzuki, and Ko Nishikawa represented the collaborations and received the awards. The prize was given  “For the fundamental discovery and exploration of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics."

The Breakthrough Prizes honor advances in Mathematics, Fundamental Physics, and Life Sciences. The prize was established in 2012 by Yuri and Julia Milner, Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.

Profs. Kate Scholberg and Chris Walter are long-time collaborators on Super-Kamiokande, T2K and K2K and were integral parts of the research teams that did the work for which the prize was awarded in all three experiments.

Those listed as prize winners who are or have been members of the Duke Neutrino Group are: Tarek Akiri, Josh Albert, Maxim Fechner, Alex Himmel, Naho Tanimoto, Kate Scholberg, Chris Walter, Roger Wendell and Taritree Wongjirad.

Support for building and operating the Super-Kamiokande, K2K and T2K experiments is provided by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Science.  Support for the Duke Neutrino Group's research activities is provided by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Science and the United States National Science Foundation.