Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Neutrino Physics and Particle Astrophysics
My research specializations are neutrino physics and particle astrophysics. Specific topics include neutrino oscillation, nucleon decay, and the search for dark matter. In terms of neutrino oscillation, I was deeply involved in the discovery of neutrino oscillation using atmospheric neutrinos. The discovery was announced in 1998 based on results from the Super-K detector in Japan. This work was recognized in 2015 with the Nobel Prize in Physics. We are continuing studies of atmospheric neutrinos with Super-K, where we are studying the unknown parameters of neutrino oscillation such as CP violation and mass ordering. For nucleon decay, an ongoing goal of Super-K is to search for baryon number violation by proton decay and related processes. These processes are predicted by Grand Unified Theories that unite the quarks and leptons and the strong, weak, and electromagnetic interactions. This has been a major research thrust in my research group at B.U., which graduated four PhD students with work in this area. For dark matter, we use Super-K to search for indirect evidence from neutrinos that may originate in dark matter annihilation or decay in the cosmos. Beginning in 2018, we undertook a major upgrade to the Super-K experiment that incorporates gadolinium in the detector water to enable efficient detection of neutron capture. Counting neutrons will be beneficial for nearly all of the Super-Kamiokande physics topics: supernova neutrinos, atmospheric neutrinos, and proton decay.
I am also a member of the T2K (Tokai-To-Kamioka) experiment which studies neutrino oscillations with a beam of neutrinos aimed at the Super-K detector. To improve the understanding of neutrino production at T2K and in atmospheric neutrinos, I am working on a hadron production experiment at Fermilab called EMPHATIC.
Past work: I did R&D for dark matter using a technique based on direct detection in liquid argon. The particular detector that my group helped build was called MiniCLEAN, and was located at SNOLab in Sudbury, Ontario. I also did R&D for Liquid Argon TPCs via the LArIAT experiment at Fermilab. I also participated in the now-completed MACRO and K2K experiments, both of which provided independent confirmation of the neutrino oscillation effect.
“Constraint on the matter-antimatter symmetry-violating phase in neutrino oscillations”, K. Abe, et al., Nature 583 7803 (2020) (2020)
“Search for proton decay via p→e+pi0 and p→mu+pi0 in 0.31 megaton·years exposure of the Super-Kamiokande water Cherenkov detector”, K. Abe, et al., Phys. Rev. D95, 012010 (2017).
“Establishing Atmospheric Neutrino Oscillation”, T. Kajita, E. Kearns, M. Shiozawa, Nucl. Phys. B908, 14 (2016)
“Indication of Electron-Neutrino Appearance from an Accelerator-Produced Off-Axis Beam”, K. Abe, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 041801 (2011).
“Astrophysical Neutrino Telescopes”, A.B.McDonald, C. Spiering, S. Schonert, E.T. Kearns, and T. Kajita, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 293 (2004).
“Evidence for oscillation of atmospheric neutrinos”, Y. Fukuda, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 82, 1562 (1998).
For a full list of publications, please see the attached CV.
- American Physical Society W.K.H. Panofsky Prize (2021)
- Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (2015)
- Fellow, American Physical Society