Oxford Celebrates role in 2015 Nobel prize for Physics

14 December 2015

On 14 December 2015, four days after the Nobel Prize was presented to Art MacDonald and Takaaki Kajita in Stockholm, the Particle Physics sub-department hosted a 'Nobel Banquet' to celebrate with Art the award of the 2015 Nobel Prize and 2016 Breakthrough Prize. Members of the department, alumni, friends, and former members of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) collaboration, many of whom had not seen each other in years, joined the celebration. Art, who is Spokesperson of SNO, was made an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College and gave a captivating speech in which he recounted the many year journey from conception of the experiment to design, construction, commissioning and data analysis that ultimately led to the evidence that neutrinos oscillate from one flavour to another and therefore have mass. Oxford was the only UK university on SNO. Art noted the major contribution made by Oxford students, post docs, staff and academics in all aspects of the experiment, including members of the Oxford mechanical workshop, who played a key role in construction the acrylic vessel central to the SNO experiment.

Nobel Banquet, Chapel Hall, Mansfield College. Front Row (L-R): Prof Amanda Cooper-Sarkar, Prof Ian Shipsey, Prof Don Perkins, Prof Steve Biller*, Prof Art MacDonald, Lady Helena Kennedy (Principal of Mansfield), Prof Nick Jelley*, Prof Roger Cashmore, Prof Dave Wark*. (*UK co-spokesperson/former co-spokesperson of SNO.)