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:

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

* 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.