The sensational discovery of “Neutrino Oscillation” theory provides valuable predictions and plays an important theoretical role in the development of neutrino physics.
After the prediction of the Neutrino’s existence by W. Pauli in 1930, the study of particle physics was predicated on the belief that a neutrino does not have mass. However, Jiro Maki, Shoichi Sakata, Masami Nakagawa demonstrated that the mass of a neutrino is not zero by further developing “Neutrino Oscillation” theory. Whereby, a neutrino may change its ‘flavour’ (kind) due to the fact that neutrinos do have mass.
This phenomenon was demonstrated by observing neutrinos that were released into the atmosphere by the Super-Kamiokande (neutrino observatory) in 1998.
Experiments that observe the vibratory phenomenon via the Super-Kamiokande and KamLAND are currently being conducted in Japan.
The study of neutrino physics is at the cutting edge with exciting prospects for the 21st century and beyond, with Japanese scientists leading the way.
［Reference］ The history of neutrino physics
1930: W.Pauli predicts the existence of the neutrino.
1956: F. Reines and C. Cowan discover an anti-electronic neutrino.
1962: L..Radarman discovers a mu neutrino with an artificial neutrino beam.
1967: Jiro Maki, Masami Nakagawa, and Shoichi Sakata develop the theory of neutrino oscillations.
1987: Masatoshi Koshiba and the Kamiokande study group observe neutrinos that are produced by a supernova explosion for the first time.
1991: Proof that a light neutrino exists in only the third generation at the LEP experiment of CERN.
2000: The existence of the tau neutrino is confirmed by the experiment of the Fermi United States laboratory.
2001: The Canadian SNO study group and the Japanese Super-Kamiokande study group prove the existence of neutrino oscillations by solar neutrino observation.
2002: The Japanese KAMLAND research consortium uses neutrinos produced via a nuclear reactor to further demonstrate the existence of neutrino oscillations.
［Career］Born in 1929 and died May 31 2005
Jiro Maki graduated from Tokyo University of Literature and Science (presently Tsukuba University) and later taught as an assistant professor in the Department of Science at Nagoya University before becoming a physics laboratory professor at the University of Kyoto. He ultimately succeeded Hideki Yukawa as head of the Physics Laboratory Department at the University of Kyoto. Jiro Maki has made a remarkable contribution to the study of elementary particle physics with the prediction of neutrino oscillations being an excellent example. He served as the chairman for the Physical Society of Japan and was commended by winning the Nishina Commemorative ward in 1977.