Saturday October 10, 2015

Canadian Neutrino Researcher Wins Nobel Prize in Physics

Arthur B. MacDonald, professor Emeritus at Queen's University in Canada, speaks on the phone shortly after learning that he was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics at his home in Kingston, Ontario October 6, 2015. Japan's Takaaki Kajita and Canada's Arthur B. McDonald won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery that neutrinos, labeled nature's most elusive particles, have mass, the award-giving body said on Tuesday.

Arthur B. MacDonald, professor Emeritus at Queen's University in Canada, speaks on the phone shortly after learning that he was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics at his home in Kingston, Ontario October 6, 2015. Japan's Takaaki Kajita and Canada's Arthur B. McDonald won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery that neutrinos, labeled nature's most elusive particles, have mass, the award-giving body said on Tuesday. (Lars Hagberg/Reuters)

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The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded this week to Dr. Arthur McDonald, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Queen's University in Kingston, for his work as leader of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration.

Dr. McDonald shared the prize with Japanese colleague Professor Takaaki Kajita, who led the Super-Kamiokande collaboration. Both projects were large, international efforts aimed at studying the properties of the elusive neutrino, a sub-atomic particle produced by nuclear reactions.

Their great success was the discovery that neutrinos "oscillate" by transforming between three different "flavours" and this, in turn, implies that they have a tiny mass. Insights like this into the nature of neutrinos should hold keys to important questions about how the universe was formed.

Related Links

- Nobel Prize announcement
Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
CBC News story
Quirks story on the latest in neutrino hunting
- Quirks Interview on the book Neutrino Hunters
- Bob's blog: Why Neutrinos Matter