Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2015 to

Takaaki Kajita
Super-Kamiokande Collaboration
University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan


Arthur B. McDonald
Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration
Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada

“for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass”.

Metamorphosis in the particle world

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 recognises Takaaki Kajita in Japan and Arthur B. McDonald in Canada, for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe.

Around the turn of the millennium, Takaaki Kajita presented the discovery that neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between two identities on their way to the Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan.

Meanwhile, the research group in Canada led by Arthur B. McDonald could demonstrate that the neutrinos from the Sun were not disappearing on their way to Earth. Instead they were captured with a different identity when arriving to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

A neutrino puzzle that physicists had wrestled with for decades had been resolved. Compared to theoretical calculations of the number of neutrinos, up to two thirds of the neutrinos were missing in measurements performed on Earth. Now, the two experiments discovered that the neutrinos had changed identities.

The discovery led to the far-reaching conclusion that neutrinos, which for a long time were considered massless, must have some mass, however small.

For particle physics this was a historic discovery. Its Standard Model of the innermost workings of matter had been incredibly successful, having resisted all experimental challenges for more than twenty years. However, as it requires neutrinos to be massless, the new observations had clearly showed that the Standard Model cannot be the complete theory of the fundamental constituents of the universe.

The discovery rewarded with this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics have yielded crucial insights into the all but hidden world of neutrinos. After photons, the particles of light, neutrinos are the most numerous in the entire cosmos. The Earth is constantly bombarded by them.

Many neutrinos are created in reactions between cosmic radiation and the Earth’s atmosphere. Others are produced in nuclear reactions inside the Sun. Thousands of billions of neutrinos are streaming through our bodies each second. Hardly anything can stop them passing; neutrinos are nature’s most elusive elementary particles.

Now the experiments continue and intense activity is underway worldwide in order to capture neutrinos and examine their properties. New discoveries about their deepest secrets are expected to change our current understanding of the history, structure and future fate of the universe.

Takaaki Kajita, Japanese citizen. Born 1959 in Higashimatsuyama, Japan. Ph.D. 1986 from University of Tokyo, Japan. Director of Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and Professor at University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan.

Arthur B. McDonald, Canadian citizen. Born 1943 in Sydney, Canada. Ph.D. 1969 from Californa Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA. Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.

For more details visit: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2015/press.html

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Winter School on Condensed Matter Physics

Winter School on Condensed Matter Physics
Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
11-22 January, 2016

Organized by 

Physics and Applied Mathematics Unit
Indian Statistical Institute
203 Barrackpore Trunk Road
Kolkata 700 108, India

Tel. No. : + 91 33 2575 3020
Tel. Fax. : + 91 33 2577 3026
URL : http://www.isical.ac.in/~pamu/

The school will mainly cover the emerging fields of Condensed Matter Physics and special emphasis will be given on Nanoscience where Quantum Physics and Nanotechnology meet and the primary object of this event is to bridge the post-graduate course with PhD by interacting through a few advanced level classes where mainly MSc final year and PhD students are expected.

We hope this School will create a highly stimulating learning experience which is of long lasting value to the participants' future careers.

Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible following the Registration link. We plan to have around 30 students. There is no registration fee. Local hospitality will be provided to all the participants. Limited travel supports are available. For logistics there may be a shortlisting of participants if the number of applicants is too high.


  • Computational Nanotechnology 
  • Condensed Matter Physics in Market Economy
  • Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Non-abelian Statistics
  • Quantum Hall Systems
  • Spintronics
  • Strongly Correlated Systems
  • Topological Insulators


There is no registration fee for this Winter School. Interested students are requested to fill up the attached registration form and send the scanned copy of the filled registration form to the address isinano2016@isical.ac.in by November 30, 2015. 
 Registration Form (in pdf)

Important Dates
  • Submission of Registration Form : 30th November, 2015 
  • Confirmation of the participation: 4th December, 2015 
For more details visit : http://www.isical.ac.in/~isinano2016