The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Jonathan Link, a professor of physics in the College of Science, for his work making big discoveries in the world of neutrino physics.
Link focuses on experimental particle physics with an emphasis on neutrino interactions and neutrino oscillations. Studying neutrinos helps scientists understand about the sun, stars, and even the deep core of the Earth. Neutrinos are one of the fundamental particles of the universe. They are tiny, nearly massless, uncharged particles in a family of matter called leptons. Neutrinos exist in three distinct states or “flavors” — electron, muon, and tau forms.
Study of neutrinos also provides the capability to detect extremely small trace amounts of radioactivity contained in samples of material, resulting in applications for homeland security, microelectronics, and space science.
As director of the Center for Neutrino Physics at Virginia Tech, Link works to advance the impact of the highly visible neutrino science program at Virginia Tech.
With Center for Neutrino Physics members Patrick Huber, Camillo Mariani, and Leo Piilonen, Link was among collaborators for the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, awarded collectively to five experimental groups that made key contributions to the study of neutrino oscillations. The award was presented “for the fundamental discovery and exploration of neutrino oscillations, revealing a new frontier beyond, and possibly far beyond, the standard model of particle physics.”
Link received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of California, Davis.