This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has a Stony Brook connection.
The Prize, awarded on October 6 to Takaaki Kajita (Super-Kamiokande Collaboration, University of Tokyo) and Art McDonald (SNO collaboration, Queen’s University) honored groundbreaking experiments demonstrating that neutrinos change identities.
Kajita was one of the leaders of the Super-Kamiokande Collaboration that constructed the magnificent 50-kiloton Super-Kamiokande water Cherenkov detector. In 1998 the experiment discovered the oscillation of atmospheric neutrinos, yielding knowledge with far-reaching impact on the field of particle physics. The discovery remains the only experimental evidence in a laboratory venue for physics beyond the Standard Model.
The Stony Brook Nucleon Decay and Neutrino (NN) group, established by Chang Kee Jung, has participated in the Super-Kamiokande experiment from its beginnings in 1991. The group contributed significantly to the experiment by being a part of the team that constructed detector and analyzed the atmospheric neutrino data.
The Stony Brook NN group also played a leading role in the K2K experiment, the first long baseline neutrino oscillation experiment that confirmed the neutrino oscillation observed by the Super-Kamiokande experiment and the T2K experiment that discovered electron neutrino appearance from a muon neutrino beam in 2013.
Chang Kee Jung’s accomplishments have previously been highlighted in the Los Angeles Times.