Nagoya University Emeritus Professor Kimio Niwa has been awarded the 2020 Bruno Pontecorvo Prize. This prize was established in 1995 by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research Scientific Council (JINR) in Russia to commemorate Bruno Pontecorvo (1913-1993), who produced many pioneering results in neutrino physics. Prof. Niwa has become the fifth Japanese person to receive this prize.
Prof. Niwa has advanced and led the OPERA experiment, a Japan-Europe collaborative project to test the phenomenon of neutrino oscillations. Unlike many neutrino oscillation studies using a method of measuring the disappearance of neutrinos, the OPERA has obtained direct evidence for neutrino oscillations by identifying tau-neutrinos, which can be observed only through neutrino oscillations in a muon neutrino beam.
He has won the prize for the significant development of the high-resolution nuclear emulsion technique, which has made the OPERA experiment possible. This technique has also opened a new avenue for fields other than neutrino studies.
Related website: Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) website