Laureates

Takaaki Kajita and the Super K Collaboration

Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, University of Tokyo

2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

For the fundamental discovery and exploration of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the Standard Model of particle physics.

The Science

Sixty-five billion neutrinos pass through every square centimeter of your body every second, but since they are invisible and pass right through the Earth with scarcely any impacts, they are very hard to detect and study. Takaaki Kajita and the Super K experiment in Japan demonstrated that neutrinos coming from space “oscillate”, or spontaneously transform into different types. This has major implications for our understanding of the Standard Model of particle physics and perhaps the origin of the Universe.

Comments

I would like to acknowledge the members of the Super Kamiokande collaboration, whose extraordinary dedication led to the discovery of neutrino oscillations. The Super Kamiokande experiment was initially conceived by Masatoshi Koshiba in the fall of 1983. The key person for the realization of the experiment was Yoji Totsuka, who devoted himself to the development of Super Kamiokande. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2008 before receiving this prize. I would like to specially thank Koshiba and Totsuka for their support and encouragements of my research throughout my career. Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Michiko Kajita, who has always been with me, and my parents, who kindly supported my undergraduate and graduate physics studies.

Takaaki Kajita and the Super K Collaboration

Ceremony Acceptance Video

Breakthrough Prize Symposium Talks

*Collaboration:

  • Zoa Conner
  • Yutaka Hatakeyama
  • Yusuke Koshio
  • Yuka Kajiyama
  • Yuichi Oyama
  • Yuho Kanaya
  • Yoshiyuki Fukuda
  • Yoshitaka Itow
  • Yoshinari Hayato
  • Yoshihito Gando
  • Yoshihisa Obayashi
  • Yorikiyo Nagasima
  • Yasushi Watanabe
  • Yasuo Takeuchi
  • Y. Kobayashi
  • Y. Ichikawa
  • William R.Kropp
  • W. E. Keig
  • W. Doki
  • Urszula Golebiewska
  • Tsuyoshi Nakaya
  • Toshiyuki Toshito
  • Toshiyuki Iwamoto
  • Tomasz Barszczak
  • Todd J. Haines
  • Tatsunobu Shibata
  • Takuya Hasegawa
  • Taku Hayakawa
  • Takeharu Ishizuka
  • Takayuki Yamaguchi
  • Takasumi Maruyama
  • Takashi Kobayashi
  • Takanobu Ishii
  • T. Inagaki
  • T. Futagami
  • Syunsuke Kasuga
  • Steven Dazeley
  • Steven B. Boyd
  • Soo-Bong Kim
  • Shunichi Mine
  • Shuei Yamada
  • Shoei Nakayama
  • Shigetaka Moriyama
  • Shigenobu Matsuno
  • Shigeki Tasaka
  • Shantamu Desai
  • S. Fukuda
  • S. Echigo
  • Robert Svoboda
  • Robert Sanford
  • R.Jeffery Wilkes
  • R.A.Doyle
  • R. W. Ellsworth
  • Peter G.Halverson
  • Osamu Sasaki
  • Nobuyuki Sakurai
  • Michael B. Smy
  • Mei-Li Chen
  • Matthew Malek
  • Matthew Earl
  • Masayuki Nakahata
  • Masayuki Koga
  • Masatoshi Koshiba
  • Masato Takita
  • Masato Shiozawa
  • Masaki Ishitsuka
  • Mark R. Vagins
  • Mark D. Messier
  • Makoto Yoshida
  • Makoto Takahata
  • Makoto Sakuda
  • Makoto Miura
  • Machiko Nemoto
  • M. Morii
  • M. Koike
  • M. Kohama
  • M. Etoh
  • Leroy R. Price
  • Lawrence R. Sulak
  • Larry L. Wai
  • Kyoshi Nishijima
  • Kunio Inoue
  • Kimihiro Okumura
  • Kenzo Nakamura
  • Kennith S.Ganezer
  • Kenji Ishihara
  • Kazuyoshi Kobayashi
  • Kazunori Nitta
  • Kazumasa Miyano
  • Kate Scholberg
  • Kai Martens
  • K. Fujita
  • K. B. Lee
  • Junpei Shirai
  • Junichi Kanzaki
  • Jun Kameda
  • Jordan A. Goodman
  • Jonghee Yoo
  • John W. Flanagan
  • John G. Learned
  • Jim Hill
  • Jeffery .S. George
  • James L. Stone
  • J.Hsu
  • Hiroshi Ogawa
  • Hiroko Okazawa
  • Hirokazu Ishino
  • Henry W. Sobel
  • H. Takeuchi
  • H. I. Kim
  • H. Fujiyasu
  • Gregory W. Sullivan
  • G. Guillian
  • Fumito Tsushima
  • Erik Blaufuss
  • Eric Sharkey
  • Edward Kearns
  • E. Ichihara
  • Dusan Turcan
  • Dawai W. Liu
  • David Casper
  • Danuta Kielczewska
  • D. Takemori
  • Clark McGrew
  • Christopher W. Walter
  • Christopher Mauger
  • Choji Saji
  • Chikaori Mitsuda
  • Chiaki Yanagisawa
  • Chang Kee Jung
  • Brett Viren
  • B. K. Kim
  • Atsushi Okada
  • Atsumu Suzuki
  • Atsuko Kibayashi
  • Alec Habig
  • A. Sakai
  • A. Hasegawa
  • Shuichiro Hatakeyama
  • Andrew L. Stachyra

* The Prize recognizes living members of the experiments. We regret that prizes cannot be claimed on behalf of team members who have since passed away. All eligible winners of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics must claim their prize by October 1, 2016. Claims made after that date will not be accepted.