Yoichiro Suzuki and Takaaki Kajita awarded 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

November 9, 2015
Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU)


Project Professor and Principal Investigator Yoichiro Suzuki (Credit: Kavli IPMU)Project Professor and Principal Investigator Yoichiro Suzuki (Credit: Kavli IPMU)
Institute for Cosmic Ray Research Director and Kavli IPMU Principal Investigator Takaaki Kajita            (Credit: Kavli IPMU)Institute for Cosmic Ray Research Director and Kavli IPMU Principal Investigator Takaaki Kajita
(Credit: Kavli IPMU)

Seven team leaders and the five pioneering neutrino oscillation research projects they are part of have received the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics on behalf of their colleagues, announced the Breakthrough Prize Foundation today.

This year’s award goes to individuals belonging to, or leading one of five neutrino experiment groups in the world, including Kavli IPMU Project Professor Yoichiro Suzuki, and 2015 Nobel Laureate and Institute for Cosmic Ray Research Director Takaaki Kajita. The two had worked together as members of the Super-Kamiokande experiment team.

“The discovery of neutrino oscillations opened the gateway to something bigger than the particle Standard Model at the time. It has even been called the key to solving the mystery regarding matter creation in the universe. To give this prize to people who were involved with neutrino oscillation discovery and its subsequent experimental groups is an important step in handing the research onto a future generation of scientists. Neutrino experiments are always large-scale. Results from such experiments were not possible to be obtained by limited number of people, but by tremendous efforts of all the collaborators. I am grateful that this prize allows me literary to share this momentous occasion with my fellow scientists and friends,” said Yoichiro Suzuki.

The Breakthrough Prize is an international award, recognizing the work of scientists working in three categories: Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences, and Mathematics.
The Fundamental Physics Prize was founded in 2012 by Yuri Milner, and is awarded to scientists who have contributed to human knowledge of the mysteries of the Universe. The first prize was awarded to nine individuals including Alan Guth for his pioneering work on cosmic inflation, and Edward Witten for his significant contribution to string theory.

Last year’s Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to 2011 Nobel Laureates Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Riess for their work on supernovae, which lead them to discover the universe was expanding at an accelerated rate.

This year’s prize has been awarded to the Super-Kamiokande project and its members Professor Suzuki and Professor Kajita for discovering both atmospheric and solar neutrino oscillations. Others being recognized for their discoveries of neutrino oscillations, which opened up an entirely new frontier in the particle physics Standard Model, are the KamLAND project and its member Atsuto Suzuki (former Director of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, and current President of Iwate Prefectural University), the K2K and T2K experiments and its member Koichiro Nishikawa (former Director of Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies, High Energy Accelerator Research Organization), SNOLAB researcher and 2015 Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald from Canada, and finally the Daya Bay experiment in China and its members Yifang Wang and Kam-Biu Luk.

Related Links
Breakthrough Prize Foundation Website
2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics
Super-Kamiokande Website
Kamioka Observatory
Institute for Cosmic Ray Research

Related Stories
Deputy Director Yoichiro Suzuki to be awarded Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize
Bruno Pontecorvo Prize to Yoichiro Suzuki
2015 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Takaaki Kajita
Julius Wess Award to Takaaki Kajita
The Japan Academy Award to Takaaki Kajita

Press Contact
Motoko Kakubayashi
Press officer, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe
E: motoko.kakubayashi_at_ipmu.jp
T: +81-4-7136-5980
* Please change _at_ to @

Full list of Kavli IPMU Researchers receiving this year's prize
(This list contains affiliated researchers, and includes those listed on the Kavli IPMU member list.)

Hide-Kazu Tanaka Karsten Heeger      
Alexandre Kozlov Andreas Piepke Bruce Berger Brian Fujikawa Glen Horton-Smith
Hitoshi Murayama Hiroshi Ogawa Jason Detwiler Kunio Inoue Kengo Nakamura
Karsten Heeger Masayuki Koga Patrick Decowski Sanshiro Enomoto Werner Tornow
Yuri Efremenko  Yasuhiro Kishimoto      
Atsushi Takeda Bruce Berger Chang Kee Jung Christophe Bronner Christopher W. Walter
Edward T. Kearns Henry W. Sobel Hide-Kazu Tanaka Hiroaki Aihara Hiroyuki Sekiya
James L. Stone Jun Kameda Kai Uwe Martens Kate Scholberg Katsuki Hiraide
Kenzo Nakamura Kimihiro Okumura Kou Abe Makoto Miura Mark Patrick Hartz
Mark Robert Vagins Masashi Yokoyama Masato Shiozawa Masayuki Nakahata Michael Smy
Motoyasu Ikeda Nobuhiro Kimura Roger Alexandre Wendell Shigetaka Moriyama Shoei Nakayama
Tomiyoshi Haruyama Tomonobu Tomura Tsuyoshi Nakaya Yoichiro Suzuki Yasuo Takeuchi
Yoshihisa Obayashi Yoshinari Hayato Yusuke Koshio    
 Takaaki Kajita  Yoichiro Suzuki      
 Chang Kee Jung  Christopher W. Walter  Edward T. Kearns  Henry W. Sobel  Hiroshi Ogawa
 James L. Stone  Jun Kameda  Kai Uwe Martens  Kate Scholberg  Kazuyoshi Kobayashi
 Kenzo Nakamura  Kimihiro Okumura  Kunio Inoue  Makoto Miura  Mark Robert Vagins
 Masato Shiozawa  Masayuki Koga  Masayuki Nakahata  Michael Smy  Shigetaka Moriyama
 Shoei Nakayama  Tsuyoshi Nakaya  Yasuo Takeuchi  Yoshihisa Obayashi  Hayato Yoshinari
 Yusuke Koshio        
Karsten Heeger Yasuo Takeuchi