It’s not every day that scientists get to rub shoulders with the world of film stars and pop icons, but that is just what happened at the yearly Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony last night.
Now in its third year, the event hosted by Seth MacFarlane gave away $22 million in prizes to researchers working in life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics. The physics prize went to five experimental collaborations for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, mirroring the choice of the Nobel committee earlier this year.
Yifang Wang of the JPhysG Editorial Board, represented the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment. His comments in front of the media and the watching world perfectly summed up the field of neutrino physics:
“The quest for secrets of neutrinos is not finished yet and many more mysteries are yet to be discovered.”
Yifang Wang, JPhysG Editorial Board
The five winning collaborations are: Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment, KamLAND Collaboration, K2K (KEK to Kamioka) and T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) Long Baseline Neutrino Oscillation Experiments, Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, and the Super-Kamiokande collaboration. A huge congratulations from us to all the laureates.
As well as the main prizes, over $1 million in prize money was given to young researchers, placing an emphasis on new talent. This included a new scholarship prize, won by 18 year old student Ryan Chester of North Royalton High School, Ohio for his video “Some ways to understand the special theory of relativity, and what it means about time.”
It can only be a good thing that fundamental research is getting the attention it rightly deserves, and that major celebrities are aligning themselves with science. The awards were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.
Here are the laureates with their prize on behalf of the experiments. Yifang Wang is in the centre.
Congratulations again to all laureates!
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