The 2015 Nobel Prize on Tuesday has been shared by two scientists, Japan’s Takaaki Kajita and Canada’s Arthur B. McDonald, for physics, the Royal Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced.
Takaaki, 56, and McDonald, 72, were awarded for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities.
This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe, the statement said.
Takaaki had presented the discovery that neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between two identities on their way to the Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan.
Meanwhile, the research group in Canada led by McDonald could demonstrate that the neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth. Instead they were captured with a different identity when arriving to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Ontario, Canada.
The discovery rewarded with this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics have yielded crucial insights into the all but hidden world of neutrinos, the statement added.