The Nobel Prize in Physics 1995
Martin L. Perl, Frederick Reines
Born: 16 March 1918, Paterson, NJ, USA
Died: 26 August 1998, Orange, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the detection of the neutrino"
Field: particle physics
In a so called beta-decay of a nucleus, a neutron is converted to a proton and at the same time an electron is produced. When studying e.g. the electron velocity, it was clear that the decay violated energy conversation and other decay properties. A proposal was made that in the decay an additional particle, called a neutrino, was created. In the beginning of the 1950s Frederick Reines used a water tank, located close to a nuclear reactor and discovered reactions showing the existence of the neutrino.