Takaaki Kajita, director of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research and Professor of the University of Tokyo (ICRR), and Arthur B. McDonald, Professor Emeritus at the Queen´s University in Kingston, Canada, have been awarded this year´s Nobel Prize in Physics. Based upon data from the neutrino observatory Super-Kamiokande, Takaaki Kajita presented in 1998 to the world the discovery that neutrinos produced in the atmosphere from cosmic rays switch between two identities on their way towards and through the Earth. Arthur McDonald then conducted the SNO experiment, which demonstrated that neutrinos produced in the sun do not disappear on their way to Earth, but merely change their identity.
Takaaki Kajita is an established collaborator of members of our Department. Furthermore there is an official agreement of academic cooperation between the ICRR and UAM, which was promoted by our Department.
Kajita is the manager of the node “Neutrinos, Dark Matter and Dark Energy physics" at the University of Tokyo - which forms part of the European network "Invisibles". This is a network coordinated by our Department and includes 29 European and non-European nodes. This network also includes very active groups at the University of Barcelona and the University of Valencia.
In addition, physicists of the Department are currently participating in the Super-Kamiokande experiment. In this context, Kajita is responsible for the node at the University of Tokyo within another European project, SKPLUS, which is coordinated by our Department too and that includes two other Polish institutes.
Kajita has also contributed to the prestigious "Paco Ynduráin" colloquia series organized by the Department by giving a colloquium during the academic year 2010-2011. The last visit of the Nobel Prize winner to the UAM was in June 2015 to give one of the concluding talks of the international conference "Invisibles15".