## UvA physicist Patrick Decowski among awardees of 2016 Breakthrough Prizes

10 November 2015

The 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded to five experiments investigating neutrino oscillation and will be shared equally among all five. UvA professor Patrick Decowski is among the awardees, as a team member of the KamLAND collaboration in Japan.

To all teams involved (and their combined 1,377 team leaders and members) the award is presented for the fundamental discovery and exploration of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics. Decowski, now program leader of the Dark Matter research program of Nikhef, has been working since 2002 in the Japanese Alps on the KamLAND experiment, which has revealed and precisely measured a number of previously unknown neutrino properties, such as the neutrino oscillations now leading to the Breakthrough Prize.

Apart from the KamLAND collaboration, the awarded teams include Daya Bay (China); K2K / T2K (Japan); Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (Canada); and Super-Kamiokande (Japan).

Founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, the Breakthrough Prize aims to celebrate science and scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of science as a career. The prizes are funded by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation; Mark Zuckerberg’s fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Jack Ma Foundation; and the Milner Global Foundation. Breakthrough Prize laureates in Fundamental Physics, the Life Sciences and Mathematics are awarded a $3 million prize. New Horizons Prize winners in Mathematics and Physics – acknowledging early-career achievement – receive awards of$100,000. Winners are chosen by Selection Committees, comprised of prior Breakthrough Prize laureates.