LSU researchers helped make the key measurements that show neutrinos, a sub-atomic particle, have mass, a discovery that secured the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur McDonald of Queens University in Canada.
LSU Professor of Physics Thomas Kutter and his group of researchers were members of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, or SNO Collaboration, led by McDonald. The SNO Collaboration made the key measurements by observing neutrinos from the sun.
The scientists discovered that neutrinos change on the way from the sun to Earth, which proves that neutrinos have mass. The discovery provides insight into fundamental processes governing neutrinos and potential new discoveries into the universe. The findings also modify the long-held Standard Model of particle physics.
While working at the University of British Columbia, Kutter co-authored two of the three papers that document the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which the Nobel committee deemed essential.
“It has been an honor to be a member of the SNO Collaboration and to participate in this historic research, which required meticulousness in every step along the way,” Kutter said.