Dr Phillip Urquijo finalist for the 2015 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science

Dr Phillip Urquijo has been named as one of the finalists in the highly prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. The Prizes were established in 1990 to reward outstanding achievements in Australian Science.

Dr Uquijo, at just 33, is the Physics Coordinator of the Belle II experiment based at the KEK laboratory in Japan where he leads an international team of 600 physicists. The Belle II experiment will use the SuperKEKB particle accelerator to smash electrons into positrons in the search for new physics.

As Physics Coordinator, Urquijo is charged with defining the entire Belle II physics analysis program – typically such a role is undertaken by far more senior researchers. He also leads the Australian effort in Belle II, which comprises 22 staff and students from the University of Melbourne, four from the University of Sydney and one from the University of Adelaide.

Urquijo says
“Being a finalist for the Eureka Prizes is a real honour, not just for me but for the researchers I work with. In years to come I know that Belle II will provide unique insights into some of the remaining puzzles in fundamental physics. I’m hoping we’ll discover new elementary particles, provide some answers into matter/antimatter asymmetry; but it could just be something out of the blue, something we weren’t expecting, now that would be really exciting.”

SuperKEKB will operate at 40 times the luminosity of the KEKB collider which housed the Belle II predecessor experiment, Belle. Results from Belle contributed to the awarding of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physics to M. Kobayashi and T. Maskawa for their theory that explained the source of matter/antimatter asymmetries in particle interactions and predicted the existence of the third generation of fundamental particles. It’s hoped that Belle II will lead to similar discoveries and triumphs.

Available for interview:
Phillip Urquijo

Media enquiries:
Caroline Hamilton
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
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