Lancaster link with Nobel Prize for Neutrino Physics

Lancaster neutrino physicists have been involved in the work of both of this year's Nobel Prize for Physics laureates, but particularly with that of Professor Arthur McDonald on both the SNO experiment for which the prize was awarded, and the successive, current SNO+ experiment. In 2001, SNO demonstrated conclusively that neutrinos change type as they traverse the distance between the Sun and the Earth, solving a 40-year puzzle.

This year's Nobel Prize for Physics recognises the importance of studying the most elusive of the known fundamental particles that make up our universe: neutrinos. These tiny particles have titillated and tantalised the best scientists since they were first proposed by Pauli in the 1930s.

This award recognises that neutrinos are the only particles that have demonstrated behaviour that is beyond our Standard Model of Particle Physics. The thing that makes neutrinos so fascinating is their complete disregard for the presence of matter, giving them the ability to travel very nearly unimpeded through the universe, and their sheer ubiquitousness. Each second, billions of neutrinos are emitted by fusion reactions in the Sun, travel to the Earth, and pass completely through both it and us. Drs Laura Lee Kormos, Helen O'Keeffe and PhD student Matthew Parnell are at present working with Art studying and modelling radioactive backgrounds, the understanding of which is crucial to the success of the SNO+ experiment. We have sent our sincere congratulations to Professor McDonald on this auspicious occasion.

Press Release

Tue 06 October 2015