PITT PACC News and Events

T2K Group Shares Breakthrough Prize

The T2K collaboration, which include members from the University of Pittsburgh (Faculty: Steve Dytman, Donna Naples, Vittorio Paolone, Research Physicist: Istvan Danko, and Graduate Student: Damon Hansen), have been awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics, for their role in the discovery and study of neutrino oscillation.

The prize, presented by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, was awarded “for the fundamental discovery of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics”. The prize is valued at 3 million USD, and is shared with four other international experimental collaborations studying neutrino oscillation: The Daya Bay, KamLAND, SNO, and Super-Kamiokande scientific collaborations.  The T2K collaboration is named together with the K2K collaboration for its share of the prize.

The award was presented at a ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California. The ceremony was broadcast live in the U.S. on the National Geographic Channel, and was hosted by comedian Seth Macfarlane. A one-hour version of the broadcast is scheduled for Fox on Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. ET.

T2K is an accelerator-based long-baseline neutrino experiment in Japan.  It uses the J-PARC Main Ring proton accelerator to create an intense beam of muon neutrinos.  The neutrinos are directed to the Super-Kamiokande detector in the Kamioka mine deep inside Mt Ikeno, 295 km away from J-PARC. T2K's citation for the prize was given for the observation of electron neutrino appearance in the muon neutrino beam, which is the first observation of the appearance of a neutrino flavour. This discovery sets the stage for the study of differences in the neutrino oscillation process relative to their antiparticles (antineutrinos), called CP violation, that may elucidate how the universe came to be matter dominated. T2K has recently started data-taking with an antineutrino beam to study antineutrino oscillations.

Further information can be found at:



The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to François Englert and Peter W. Higgs "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider" http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2013/

High-energy physicists at the University of Pittsburgh Physics Department have played crucial roles in the discovery of the Higgs boson and the study of its properties.



Prof. Savinov wins the Physics Slam!


The recent Snowmass Physics Slam was won by our own Prof. Savinov. The entire competition is online. "Crazy Vlad Talks About Global Conspiracies" starts at 1:03.



Physics Slam on Ice


Prof. Savinov will face off against five other physicists in the Physics Slam on Ice, August 2 at the University of Minnesota's Ridder Arena. More coverage.  




Discovery of the Zc(3900) by BESIII and Belle Causes a Stir


The discovery of a charged heavy hadron may point to a new form of matter argues Prof. Swanson of Physics and Astronomy in an APS Physics Viewpoint. Further media coverage from Wired.



The LHC discovers a new particle that has properties consistent with the long sought Higgs boson


Welcome new Post Docs


PITT PACC would like to welcome our newest Post Docs to the Physics and Astronomy department.

They include Linda Carpenter from the University of California, Josh Sayre from the University of Oklahoma and Susanne Westhoff from Johannes-Gutenberg University.  We are happy to have you joining our department!



PhD Defense - Yi-Cheng Huang



Research Advisor:  Ayres Freitas

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

Room 216 Allen Hall



Important Clue Uncovered for the Origins of a Type of Supernovae Explosion

Carlos Badenes and his research team have uncovered the origin of an imporant type of exploding stars - Type Ia supernovae.  www.news.pitt.edu/supernovae



PITT PACC Researchers Play Role in Higgs Boson Search

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh focus on the study of the Higgs boson, among other phenomena within physics.  Read story here



Professors Dytman, Naples and Paolone: Indications of a New Type of Neutrino Oscillation

Professors Steven Dytman, Donna Naples and Vittorio Paolone are members of an experimental effort that made a significant announcement today in the field of neutrino physics. The international T2K collaboration observed an indication of a new type of neutrino transformation or oscillation from a muon neutrino to an electron neutrino.

Results have been submitted to PRL: http://www.t2k.org/docs/pub/003.