Bruno Pontecorvo Prize 2016 to Gianpaolo Bellini, the “father” of Borexino
The international Bruno Pontecorvo Prize 2016 was awarded to Gianpaolo Bellini: experimental physicist of the Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics, Scientist Emeritus of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and Full Professor (now retired) at the University of Milan.
The prestigious prize – awarded annually by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna – this year went to Bellini for his achievements, in particular, the Borexino experiment, which he designed and led for more than twenty years at the INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratory. The Prize was awarded to the Italian physicist with the following motivation: “for his outstanding contributions to the development of low-energy neutrino detection methods, their realization in the Borexino detector, and the important solar and geo-neutrino results obtained in this experiment”.
Able to measure neutrinos from very low energies, the Borexino experiment has produced several important results over the years including the first measurement of the solar luminosity through neutrinos, for which it was included in the list of the Top Ten Breakthroughs 2014 in physics of the magazine Physics World. Currently BOREXINO is working to get a new important measure concerning the massive stars and to test the existence of a fourth neutrino: the so-called sterile neutrino.