Physics professor receives Humboldt Award

December 6, 2012  |   |  Comments
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Sandip Pakvasa

Sandip Pakvasa (photo courtesy of UH Manoa)

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor of Physics Sandip Pakvasa has received a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. Pakvasa is one of the world’s leading experts on neutrinos and heavy quarks in elementary particle physics. The Humboldt award will allow Pakvasa to travel to Germany to continue on-going collaboration with colleagues.

Pakvasa, author of over 340 scientific publications, has proposed a number of experiments that have been carried out at international particle physics laboratories.

In a 2005 paper Pakvasa, along with Tom Weiler and Heinrich Paes, made the intriguing suggestion that there are extra unseen spatial dimensions in which only neutrinos can travel. Their picture has testable implications and allows for many interesting phenomena, including the possibility that neutrinos may appear to travel super-luminally and yet not violate Einstein’s relativity theory.

Pakvasa’s seminal papers on matter-antimatter asymmetry for quarks played an important supporting role in the 2008 Nobel physics prize shared by Japanese scientists Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa. Pakvasa, who had written the earliest paper examining phenomenological implications of the Kobayashi-Maskawa proposal with Hirotaka Sugawara, attended the 2008 ceremony in Stockholm as a guest of Kobayashi.

Pakvasa is the first person in UH Mānoa’s College of Natural Sciences to receive the Humboldt Award. Several members of Mānoa’s Institute of Astronomy have previously received the award.

Adapted from a UH Mānoa news release

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