The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Patrick Huber, department head and a professor of physics in the College of Science, for his research in theoretical particle physics, particularly on the particles known as neutrinos.
Neutrinos are the second most common particle species in the universe and they play an important part in astrophysics, cosmology, and high-energy physics. In the future they also may find applications in nuclear non-proliferation safeguards and national security.
Huber is one of the world’s leading neutrino theorists. He has worked closely with neutrino experimentalists and helped to develop the leading simulation tool for neutrino oscillation experiments. He is affiliated with Virginia Tech’s Center for Neutrino Physics, which operates the Kimballton Underground Research Facility near the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg as a resource for the wider neutrino and low-background research community. KURF is host to experiments and R&D efforts from several research groups.
Huber was one of four CNP members who were awarded the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for five experimental collaborations that made key contributions to the study of neutrino oscillations. The $3 million award, founded by a group of internet pioneers, 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.”
Huber was recently named a Fermilab Distinguished Scholar. The intent of the scholar program is to strengthen connections between Fermilab Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics groups and the wider U.S. particle-theory community.
Huber’s research interests also include the application of antineutrinos for nuclear non-proliferation safeguards, and statistical data analysis and numerics.
Huber’s undergraduate degree and Ph.D. are from the Technical University of Munich in Germany.