Nobel Prize has been given for inspiring discovery on neutrinos, says IOP president

6 October 2015

The discovery for which the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded will change how we see the universe, the IOP’s new president, Professor Roy Sambles, said after the winners were announced today.

Nobel winners
Takaaki Kajita (L), Arthur McDonald

The prize was awarded to Professor Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Professor Arthur B McDonald of Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, for their discovery that neutrinos oscillate between different types, which is only possible if neutrinos have mass – the particles were previously thought to be massless.

Responding to the announcement, Sambles said: “The discovery of neutrino oscillation and that they have mass solves one of the long-standing problems in physics – that the Sun didn’t seem to be producing as many neutrinos as we thought it should. Now we know that they were switching between different types of neutrino.

“The neutrino had long been assumed to have no mass, so this is one of those discoveries that’s going to change how we see the universe. It’s really quite inspiring.”