For being key contributors to the experiments that demonstrates neutrinos can change identities, Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur B. McDonald of Canada will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2015. The discovery shows that neutrinos have mass. This groundbreaking work has given a new light towards the understanding of the innermost workings of matter that might change view of the universe.

While in Japan, Takaaki Kajita presented the discovery that neutrinos from the atmosphere can switch between two identities on their way to the Super-Kamiokande detector; the research group in Canada, led by Arthur B. McDonald, demonstrated that the neutrinos from the Sun did not disappear on their way to Earth, rather these were captured with a different character when it arrived at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

According to the Web site, a neutrino is "an elementary particle which holds no electrical charge, travels at nearly the speed of light, and passes through ordinary matter with virtually no interaction.”

The physicists had wrestled with for decades to resolve it. Compared to theoretical calculations of the number of neutrinos, about two-thirds of the neutrinos were missing in measurements when performed on Earth. But now, the two experiments revealed that the neutrinos had changed identities.This path-breaking discovery has led to a far-reaching conclusion that, however small, but neutrinos comes with mass and discarded the early concept that these were mass-less. It has yielded major and crucial insights into the concealed world of neutrinos. Apart from photons, the particles of light, neutrinos are the most numerous in the whole cosmos and the Earth is constantly bombarded by them.

In the field of particle physics, it’s the standard model of the innermost workings of matter that has achieved success, having resisted numerous experimental challenges for more than two decades. However, this experiment requires the neutrinos to be mass-less, but the novel observations have clearly pointed that the standard model is an incomplete theory of the fundamental constituents of the universe.

This was a historic discovery inparticle physics, and the discovery will be rewarded with the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics and a prize money of SEK 8 million, which is to be shared equally between the Laureates, said the Web site.

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