The 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to five experiments investigating neutrino oscillation and will be shared equally among all five. GRAPPA member Patrick Decowski is among the awardees, as a team member of the KamLAND collaboration in Japan.
To all teams involved (and their combined 1,377 team leaders and members) the award is presented for the fundamental discovery and exploration of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics. Decowski, now program leader of the Dark Matter research program of Nikhef, has been working since 2002 in the Japanese Alps on the KamLAND experiment, which has revealed and precisely measured a number of previously unknown neutrino properties, such as the neutrino oscillations now leading to the Breakthrough Prize.
Apart from the KamLAND collaboration, the awarded teams include Daya Bay (China); K2K / T2K (Japan); Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (Canada); and Super-Kamiokande (Japan).