Koshiba, Masatoshi

Koshiba, Masatoshi,

1926–2020, Japanese physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Rochester, 1955. He was a professor at the Univ. of Tokyo from 1958 (emeritus from 1987) and at the Univ. of Tokai from 1987 to 1997. Koshiba received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics with Riccardo GiacconiGiacconi, Riccardo,
1931–2018, Italian-American astrophysicist, b. Milan, Italy, Ph.D. Univ. of Milan 1954. He was a researcher at American Science and Engineering Corporation (1959–73), professor at Harvard (1973–81), director of the Space Telescope Science
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 and Raymond DavisDavis, Raymond, Jr.,
1914–2006, American astrochemist, Ph.D. Yale Univ. 1942. Davis, who served in the Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1946, was a researcher at Monsanto Chemical Company (1946–48) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (1948–84).
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 for pioneering contributions to astrophysics. Koshiba and Davis detected cosmic neutrinosneutrino
[Ital.,=little neutral (particle)], elementary particle with no electric charge and a very small mass emitted during the decay of certain other particles. The neutrino was first postulated in 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli in order to maintain the law of conservation of energy
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, the most elusive particles in the universe. Koshiba did his research at Japan's giant underground Kamiokande neutrino detector, which he devised. He confirmed Davis's results and also detected neutrinos from a supernova. Their work led to a new field of research known as neutrino astronomyneutrino astronomy,
study of stars by means of their emission of neutrinos, fundamental particles that result from nuclear reactions and are emitted by stars along with light. Approximately 100 billion neutrinos have raced through your body since you began reading this article.
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, which is important to particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.
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