CSU Department of Physics Researchers Share in 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Posted: November 10th, 2015


Winners of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize at the Mountain View, CA, ceremonies.


Members of the CSU team (E. Reinherz-Aronis, A. Clifton, D. Cherdack, P. Rojas, N. Buchanan, B. Berger, W. Toki, R. Wilson) who received the Breakthrough Award for their research in the T2K Experiment.

The T2K collaboration has received the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in a ceremony in Mountain View, CA, on November 8, 2015, that was more like the Academy Awards where top scientists were given rock star treatment. This $3M prize was shared between 5 international experiments that made major discoveries in neutrino oscillations. Prof. Koichiro Nishikawa, of KEK Laboratory, Kyoto University, and founder of the T2K experiment, received the prize at the ceremonies on behalf of the T2K Collaboration.  The CSU team working on the T2K experiment, designed and built important sub-detectors  that monitor the neutrino beam as it exits the accelerator and travels 295  km to the Super Kamiokande detector under Mt. Ikenoyama. This “breakthrough” measurement by the T2K experiment observed the oscillation of muon-type neutrinos into electron-type neutrinos.

The CSU group that are 15 members of the T2K collaboration that received this award is led by  Prof. Walter Toki and includes CSU Physics faculty, Bruce Berger, Norm Buchanan, Walter Toki, and Robert Wilson; Staff Scientists and Post-Docs, Dan Cherdack,  Fahmida Khanam, Vladimir Kravtsov, and Erez Reinherz-Aronis ; and Graduates Students, Shamil Assylbekov, Matt Bass, Alex Clifton, Raj Das, Paul Rojas, Dan Ruterbories, and Jackie Schwehr.  All CSU members will share part of the monetary award.

The Breakthrough Prize was created and founded in 2012 by Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Ma (Alibaba), and Yuri Milner (Digital Sky). The latest news about this prize is linked at the websites at T2K Breakthrough Laureates, Breakthrough Prize Announcement, Scientific American, and New York Times.