Professor Arthur McDonald FRS

Art McDonald is a nuclear physicist who works to understand the structure of atomic nuclei. His studies are helping to answer a question that physicists have long been investigating — whether or not subatomic particles called neutrinos have mass. Importantly, he discovered that neutrinos change, or oscillate, from one type or ‘flavour’ to another when travelling over sufficiently long distances, and that they do indeed possess mass.

His research was carried out at Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, a laboratory located 2 kilometres underground in a mine outside Ontario, Canada, of which he was Director. He was also Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Cosmology and Gravity Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Art is the author of more than 120 scientific papers and has received awards that include the 2003 Tom W. Bonner Prize; the Herzberg Medal from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in 2003; the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics in 2007; the Henry Marshall Tory Medal in 2011, and the Cocconi Prize in 2013.

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics

    Elementary particle physics


  • Nobel Prize in Physics

    Jointly with Professor Takaaki Kajita for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.

  • UK-Canada Rutherford Lecture

    On 'Mining the heavens: a deeper understanding of our Universe from 2 kilometres underground'.

Professor Arthur McDonald FRS
Elected 2009