UWinnipeg physicist connected to Canadian Nobel Laureate

Thu. Oct. 8, 2015

Dr. Blair Jamieson

Dr. Blair Jamieson

UWinnipeg Assistant Professor Dr. Blair Jamieson is pleased Dr. Arthur (Art) McDonald has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics. Jamieson worked with the Nobel Laureate when he was researching his post doctorate at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) studying neutrino physics. McDonald directed his experiments.

“I learned in physics as a graduate student that the neutrino was always treated as a massless particle,” said Jamieson. “That changed near the end of my graduate studies when the initial research of the SNO experiment, led by Dr. Arthur McDonald, showed that 2/3 of the neutrinos from the sun changed flavors before being detected on earth. That startling discovery is what drew me into doing research on neutrinos as a post-doc. I congratulate Art McDonald and Takaaki Kajita on their well deserved Nobel Prize award as leaders of the SNO and Super-Kamiokande experiments respectively.”

A lot of hard work is needed to carry out the research and to ensure the measurements are flawless. These experiments involve many individuals working together to understand the details of how the detector performs.

“Art was always soft spoken at collaboration meetings, and asked the simplest, but most important questions about each of the details being studied,” said Jamieson. “I was part of a small group at UBC working on the third phase of SNO where all flavours of neutrinos were detected both in the SNO heavy water, and in a series of three proportional chambers. For that analysis I developed a new Bayesian analysis that simultaneously fit the data from both detectors. Art had many questions about this new analysis method, and eventually was convinced that it should be adopted as the main analysis for extracting the solar neutrino fluxes.”

Jamieson will be speaking on Friday, October 30 at 12:30 in Eckhardt-Gramatté.

“Dr. Jamieson has a close research connection to this year’s Nobel Laureate,” said Jeffery Martin, Professor of Physics, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Fundamental Symmetries in Subatomic Physics. “We’re very lucky to have someone of Dr. Jamieson’s stature at UWinnipeg.”

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
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