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Penn State scientists part of team that wins 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

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Penn State scientists part of team that wins 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Professor Cowen & Dr. Tesic

Doug Cowen, professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics, and Gordana Tesic, a postdoctoral researcher in Cowen's lab, belong to a team of scientists that received the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The $3 million prize, which recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the universe, is shared by five separate teams and is awarded “for the fundamental discovery of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics."

Cowen and Tesic are members of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) team that resolved a 25-year-old problem of missing solar neutrinos. The SNO collaboration discovered that neutrinos generated in the core of the Sun change flavors -- or "oscillate" -- as they travel through space before being detected on Earth.