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Physicists Gather at Virginia Tech to Discuss Quarks and Leptons

      Physics gathered at Virginia to discuss the latest findings in the area of heavy quarks and leptons. In the week of May 23rd, Virginia Tech's Center for Neutrino Physics, welcomed physicists from around the world to the XIIIth International Conference on Heavy Quarks and Leptons. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Neutrino Physics, the College of Science, the Department of Physics and the Office of the VP for Research.
      Heavy Quarks and Leptons (or HQL for short) is dedicated to the study of the heavy quarks charm, bottom, and top with obvious extensions to interesting topics involving the strange quark. Neutrino oscillation studies and new insights in μ and τ lepton phenomenology are also included. The conference continues the tradition of regular scientific meetings, first started in 1993 at the Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati. This years version of the biennial conference featured more than 75 pleanary talks, including recent results on heavy quarks from the LHC experiments and the dedicated heavy quark experiements Belle and BES. Results and updates from several neutrino experimets were also discussed.

The Heavy Quarks and Leptons Participants

Tommy O'Donnell to Join CNP as Its Newest Faculty Member

      Tommy O'Donnell of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is joing this Virgina Tech Physics Department this fall, as its newest faculty member. Prof. O'Donnell is an expert on searches for neutrinoless double beta-decay, a potential, yet still unobserved phenomenon, which if observed would indicate that neutrinos are their own antiparticles, also known as Majorana particles. Prof. O'Donnell is a member of two collaborations searching for this affect: KamLAND-Zen located in Japan's Kamioka Underground Laboratory and CUORE located in Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory.

Prof. Tommy O'Donnell

Patrick Huber Honored as Fermilab Distinguished Scholar

      Center for Neutrino Physics member Patrick Huber has been appointed to the inaugural class of Fermilab Distinguished Scholars, a two-year program for U.S. particle physicists. As part of the award, Dr. Huber will be in residence at Fermilab for at least a month each year, and will have the same research opportunities as Fermilab scientists. In addition, Dr. Huber's award includes support for one or two students or postdocs to also visit Fermilab.

Professor Patrick Huber
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CNP Scientists to Share 2016 Breakthrough Prize

      The 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics was awarded collectively to five experimental collaborations that made key contributions to the study of neutrino oscillations, a group which includes CNP members Patrick Huber, Jonathan Link, Camillo Mariani, and Leo Piilonen. Accoring to the citation the award was 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." The Breakthrough Prize was founded by internet pioneers Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma, Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to recognize those individuals who have made profound contributions to human knowledge.
      The awards were presented in a Hollywood style awards ceremony in Silicon Valley hosted by Seth MacFarland. Huber, Link and Piilonen share in the award for their work on the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment along with former Virginia Tech group members Yuen-Keung Hor, Yue Meng, Deb Mohapatra and Jo Ellen Morgan. Mariani shares for his work on the K2K Experiment. Each will receive a share of the $3 million prize.

Virginia Tech professors Patrick Huber, Jonathan Link Camillo Mariani and Leo Piilonen will each share in the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

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News & Events

Patrick Huber discusses his recent paper on monitoring Iran's nuclear reactor using neutrinos with WVTF radio. Listen to the interview here.

Camillo Mariani, of the Center for Neutrino Physics, has been named as the recipient of a prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Prof. Mariani's award will support his research on neutrino interactions in matter and create a QuarkNet center at Virginia Tech to attract high school teachers and students, with initial emphasis on neutrino physics.

Read the full press release