Koichiro Nishikawa and members of T2K Collaboration awarded Breakthrough Prize

November 9, 2015

Dr Koichiro Nishikawa and the members of the T2K collaboration have been awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics, for their role in the discovery and study of neutrino oscillation.

The prize, presented by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, was awarded “for the fundamental discovery of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics”. The prize is valued at 3 million USD, and is shared with four other international experimental collaborations studying neutrino oscillation: The Daya Bay, KamLAND, SNO, and Super-Kamiokande scientific collaborations. The T2K collaboration is named together with the K2K collaboration for its share of the prize. Dr. Nishikawa is the founding spokesperson of the T2K and K2K collaborations.

The award was presented at a ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California. The ceremony was broadcast live in the U.S. on the National Geographic Channel, and was hosted by comedian Seth Macfarlane. A one-hour version of the broadcast is scheduled for Fox on Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. ET.

T2K is an accelerator-based long-baseline neutrino experiment in Japan. It uses the J-PARC Main Ring proton accelerator to create an intense beam of muon neutrinos. The neutrinos are directed to the Super-Kamiokande detector in the Kamioka mine deep inside Mt Ikeno, 295 km away from J-PARC. T2K’s citation for the prize was given for the observation of electron neutrino appearance in the muon neutrino beam, which is the first observation of the appearance of a neutrino flavour. This discovery sets the stage for the study of differences in the neutrino oscillation process relative to their antiparticles (antineutrinos), called CP violation, that may elucidate how the universe came to be matter dominated. T2K has recently started data-taking with an antineutrino beam to study antineutrino oscillations.

The T2K Collaboration has included over 500 members from 64 institutions in 12 countries:
University of Alberta; University of British Columbia; University of Regina; University of Toronto; TRIUMF; University of Victoria; University of Winnipeg; York University (Canada);
IPN Lyon (IN2P3); IRFU, CEA Saclay; LLR Ecole polytechnique (IN2P3); LPNHE, UPMC, Paris (France);
RWTH Aachen University (Germany);
INFN Sezione di Bari; INFN Sezione di Roma; Napoli University and INFN; Padova University and INFN (Italy);
ICRR, Kamioka Observatory; ICRR, RCCN; ICRR, University of Tokyo; Kavli IPMU (WPI); University of Tokyo; KEK; Kobe University; Kyoto University; Miyagi University of Education; Okayama University; Osaka City University; Tokyo Metropolitan University; University of Tokyo (Japan);
Chonnam National University, Donhshin University, Seoul National University (Republic of Korea);
IFJ PAN, Krakow; NCBJ, Warsaw; University of Silesia, Katowice; Warsaw University of Technology; Wroclaw University; University of Warsaw (Poland);
INR (Russia);
IFAE, Barcelona; IFIC, Valencia (Spain);
ETH Zurich; University of Bern; University of Geneva (Switzerland);
Imperial College London; Oxford University; Queen Mary, University of London; STFC Daresbury Laboratory; STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; University of Lancaster; University of Liverpool; University of Sheffield; University of Warwick (UK);
Boston University; Brookhaven National Laboratory, Colorado State University; Duke University; Louisiana State University; Michigan State University; Stony Brook University; University of California, Irvine; University of Colorado; University of Pittsburgh; University of Rochester; University of Washington (USA).

T2K is hosted jointly by the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, University of Tokyo (ICRR).

For more information, please visit https://breakthroughprize.org