Responses from Neutrino Physicists
Boris Kayser (National Science Foundation, Washington):
"For years, physicists have dreamed of neutrino mass. Now Super-Kamiokande has very likely found it. Understanding its origin will take us into new physics realms."
Alexei Smirnov (International Center for Theoretical Physics,
"This result is the strongest evidence for neutrino oscillations we have ever had, although further careful checks of consistency of existing experimental data are needed."
John Bahcall (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton):
"The Super-K results are beautiful and provide strong additional evidence that neutrinos oscillate."
Jean-Marc Gaillard (CERN, Geneva, Switzerland):
"The beauty of Super-Kamiokande was to find the first hard evidence of neutrino oscillations by covering the complete interference range. The implications for the neutrino masses will have a great impact on further experimental exploration and theoretical developments."
Paul Langacker (University of Pennsylvania):
"The exquisite zenith angle distributions observed by Super-K almost certainly establish the existence of neutrino mass. Small neutrino masses constitute a subtle probe of particle physics at ultrashort distances, and may have profound consequences for cosmology and neutrino astrophysics."
Lincoln Wolfenstein (Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh):
"The most interesting explanation is the 'seesaw mechanism' in grand unified theories. This could be the first window into new physics at very high energies inaccessible to particle accelerators. It resulted from the study of atmospheric neutrinos pioneered by Fred Reines, whose recent death we mourn."
Pierre Ramond (University of Florida, Gainesville):
"The Super-Kamiokande measurements strongly suggest neutrino oscillations with parameters (masses and mixing angle) that imply, through the seesaw mechanism, the existence of a scale commensurate with that at which the gauge couplings unify. This is in line with the string/grand-unified view of the world at short distances, and provides additional evidence for low energy supersymmetry."
Gary Feldman (Harvard University):
"The Super-K results are exciting precisely because they are a priori unexpected. The complete or almost complete mixing breaks the pattern seen in the quarks and suggests that we are going to learn something fundamental about the origin of masses when we finally sort out all of the lepton masses and mixings."
Rabi Mohapatra (University of Maryland, College Park):
"Nonzero neutrino mass implied by the Super-K results has the profound consequence that weak interactions must conserve parity at high energies, making it more like other interactions."
Michael Turner (University of Chicago):
"This is a very exciting result--a neutrino mass of around 0.1 eV means that neutrinos contribute as much mass density to the Universe as stars and have an important effect on the development of structure in the Universe."
Gordy Kane (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor):
"I'm writing my first paper ever on neutrino masses.