Nobel prize in physics: Canadian Arthur McDonald shares win with Japan’s

Neutrinos are minuscule and created in nuclear reactions, such as in the sun and the stars.


Neutrinos are particles that whizz through the universe at almost the speed of light.

“This is great news for the neutrino community”, said Naba Mondal, project director for the INO. Brown said it’s also a success for the theory known as quantum mechanics, which deals with fundamental particles and their interactions, because that’s the only way to explain how neutrinos can change from one type to another. But when measurements were done on earth, it appeared that two thirds of the neutrinos were missing. Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo led researchers working with the Super-Kamiokande detector in a zinc mine 250 kilometers northwest of Japan’s capital that made its key discovery in 1998. Instead they were captured with a different identity when arriving to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Ontario, Canada. It came after Kajita but he also proved neutrino oscillation in another channel. This phenomenon, called neutrino oscillation, is possible only if neutrinos have mass.

“The universe where we live in is still full of unknowns”.

McDonald told reporters in Stockholm by phone that the discovery helped scientists fit neutrinos into theories of fundamental physics.

“The experiments have… revealed the first apparent crack in the Standard Model”, the panel said.

“The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe”, the academy said.

“It changes our understanding of the fundamentals of particle physics, and particles make up everything in the universe”, said Robert G.W. Brown, chief executive officer of the American Institute of Physics.

Asked how he felt when he realised today that his work was suddenly going to receive the world’s focus, McDonald said, “It’s a very daunting experience, needless to say”.

I think today is a big day for a lot of my colleagues, who have devoted their life to the study of neutrinos and the building of experiments where their properties could be measured.

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

Asked whether he ever dreamed of winning the Nobel, he replied: “As really a dream maybe yes, but not a serious dream so far”.

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

Scientists at the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) were celebrating on Tuesday after the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics went to two scientists for their work in the field of neutrinos.

The victor of the literature prize will be revealed on Thursday, while the peace prize will be announced in Oslo on Friday.

The prize for medicine was awarded on Monday to three scientists for their work in developing drugs to fight parasitic diseases including malaria and elephantiasis.


The Nobel Prize in Physics is seen as the most prestigious award of its kind and comes with an 8 million Swedish kronor ($953,500) cash award.

Professor Sara Snogerup Linse left explains why the laureates were awarded as Goran K. Hansson centre and Claes Gustafsson members of the Nobel Assembly sit during a press conference at the Royal Swedish Academy in Stockholm Wednesday Oct. 7 2015