Takaaki Kajita was born in 1959. He studied at the Saitama University where he graduated in 1981. Kajita received his doctorate in 1986 at the University of Tokyo. Since 1988 he has been at the Institute for Cosmic Radiation Research (ICRR), University of Tokyo, where he became an assistant professor in 1992 and professor in 1999. Kajita became Director of the the ICRR in 1999. As of 2015, he is at the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Tokyo.
In 1998, Kajita's team at the Super-Kamiokande experiment (at that time led by Yoji Totsuka) found that when cosmic rays hit the Earth's atmosphere, the resulting neutrinos switched between two flavors before they reached the detector under Mt. Kamioka. The results were presented at the Takayama NEUTRINO98 conference: this was the announcemente of the discovery of neutrino oscillations. For this achievement, in 2015, Kajita shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Arthur McDonald, whose Sudbury Neutrino Observatory found similar results with solar neutrinos. Kajita is currently the principal investigator of another ICRR project located at the Kamioka Observatory, the KAGRA gravitational wave detector.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Kajita obtained numerous honors and awards: the Asahi Prize, the Bruno Rossi Prize along with the other members of the Kamiokande collaboration, the Nishina Memorial Prize, the Panofsky Prize, the Yoji Totsuka Award, the Japan Academy Prize, the Julius Wess Award, the Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics. Among various Honoris Causa degrees, Kajita obtained the honorary PhD in Physics at the University of Bern, with which he had established a long-lasting scientific collaboration.
Giulia Zanderighi was born in Milan, Italy, in 1974. After studying physics at the University of Milan, she earned her doctorate from the University of Pavia. She pursued her academic career as a postdoc at the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology in Durham (UK) and Fermilab in Batavia (USA).
In 2005, she became a fellow in the theoretical department at CERN, followed by a position as a lecturer at the University of Oxford and Tutorial Fellow at Wadham College in 2007. As of 2010 she was a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford. In 2014 she took a leave from this position, holding in a five-year staff position at CERN. She has taken her office as a director at the Max Planck Institute for Physics on January 1, 2019.
Peter Jenni, was born in 1948 in Iffwil (BE). He received his diploma in physics from the University of Bern in 1973, whereupon he got his doctorate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) in 1976. This was followed by employment at the ETHZ, Stanford (USA) and at CERN, where he worked as a scientist from 1980 until his retirement in 2013. Jenni is today an honorary professor at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg (Germany).
Peter Jenni has been involved in many important experiments in particle physics and has demonstrated strong leadership skills in leading large international collaborations, such as the UA2 and ATLAS experiments at CERN. Among his scientific results, his outstanding role in the discovery of the Higgs boson. Peter Jenni has received many awards and honors for his exceptional contributions to the study of the Standard Model of elementary particles and interactions. He won the Swiss Greinacher Prize, the gold medal of the Slovakian Comenius University, the prize of the Czech Charles University (FPP) and the prize for high energy and particle physics of the European Physical Society (EPS). Jenni received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Stockholm and Groningen, the ETHZ, the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and the University of Bern.
Poul Henrik Damgaard did his undergraduate studies at the University of Copenhagen and then went to Cornell University, where he received his PhD in 1982. He has held post-doctoral positions at Nordita, CERN, and the Niels Bohr Institute, and has for a period of six years been Scientific Associate at the Theory Group of CERN. In 1995 he took up a position as Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University and that same year moved to the Niels Bohr Institute on a similar position. He has been Professor of Theoretical Physics since 2010, and Director of Niels Bohr International Academy since its beginning in 2007. His current research interests include modern techniques for amplitude computations, non-perturbative studies of a highly supersymmetric theory as formulated on a space-time lattice, and constraints on so-called electroweak baryogenesis from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Richard Wigmans obtained his PhD in physics at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in 1975. After that he had a Research Assistant position at VU Amsterdam. This was followed by a Senior staff physicist position at NIKHEF and by a Senior staff position at CERN, Geneva. As of 1992, Wigmans is J. Fred Bucy and Odetta Greer Bucy Chair in Particle Physics at the Department of Physics, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, where he has been founder and leader of the Particle Physics Group at TTU, also involved in the CERN CMS experiment.
Wigmans is one of the world’s leading experts in calorimetric detection of high-energy elementary particles. He made several crucial contributions, both theoretical and experimental (e.g. the so-called SPACAL calorimeter), to the development of this technique, which is becoming more and more the method of choice in modern physics experiments. In recent years, Wigmans has also developed a strong interest in the new field of astroparticle physics. He has published several papers on peculiarities of the high-energy cosmic-ray spectra that may have far-reaching consequences for fundamental physics.