Fêted on the Hill

Fêted on the Hill

By Communications Staff

March 8, 2016


Queen’s University Professor Emeritus Art McDonald, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, was recognized in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Dr. McDonald was named the co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for the SNO collaboration’s findings, which determined neutrinos, one of the fundamental particles that make up the universe, are capable of changing their type – an indicator that they have mass.


A new chapter in the history of Queen's University was written as Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald travelled to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics. Here's a quick look at the events that took place throughout Nobel Week.

“Our collaboration members are very pleased to receive this recognition from the Parliament of Canada for the scientific significance of their work,” says Dr. McDonald. “Our findings are a result of many years of hard work by our international scientific collaboration and have been an excellent educational experience for many students and post-doctoral fellows. To see our research recognized by the Canadian Parliament is a tremendous honour.”

Earlier in the day, Dr. McDonald met with Canada’s Minister of Science, The Hon. Kirsty Duncan. Following the ceremony in the House of Commons, Dr. McDonald and his collaborators attended a reception with Members of Parliament, hosted by Speaker of the House, The Hon. Geoff Regan, and The Hon. George J. Furey, Speaker of the Senate.

“Dr. Art McDonald and his team made a discovery that fundamentally changed the way we view the universe,” says Daniel Woolf, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor. "Witnessing their recognition today in the House of Commons was an honour, just as it was to see Art receive his Nobel Prize in Stockholm. These are defining moments for Queen’s University and Canadian science.”

Dr. McDonald received the Nobel Prize in Stockholm in December. Dr. McDonald and the SNO Collaboration also received the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for the discovery. He was also named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2015.

See more photos at the Queen's Univeristy page on Flickr.


The following statements were made in the House of Commons on Tuesday, March 8, recognizing the achievements of Professor Emeritus Art McDonald and his partners in the SNO Collaboration:

Speaker of the House, Geoff Regan: I draw the attention of honourable members to the presence in the gallery of Dr. Arthur McDonald, astrophysicist and co-winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, and his collaborators representing four countries and more than 15 universities and research facilities.

Some honourable members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC): 

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Queen's University professor Arthur McDonald, who now shares the Nobel Prize in Physics with Takaaki Kajita from Japan, for their discovery of neutrino oscillations, which changes our understanding of the innermost workings of matter. The discovery concluded that neutrinos, which for a long time were considered massless, must have some mass, however small.

Experiments continue worldwide to capture neutrinos and examine their properties. These new discoveries are expected to change our understanding of the history, the structure, and the future of the universe.

Dr. McDonald's research yielded a historic discovery in particle physics at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. His innovative vision has made Canada a world leader in the field of particle astrophysics and has paved the way for international collaborations.

Congratulations to Dr. McDonald.

Mr. Paul Lefebvre (Sudbury, Lib.): 

Mr. Speaker, I rise to salute the fantastic achievements of Dr. Arthur McDonald, the co-winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics. Dr. McDonald, a professor at Queen's University, led a global team of over 270 researchers from 13 international institutions to the discovery that neutrinos can change identities, thereby confirming that particles have mass. This discovery upset the standard model of physics and changed our understanding of how the universe works.

The team conducted these experiments at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, or SNOLAB, in the Creighton mine, located two kilometres underground in my riding of Sudbury. The lab is the deepest clean room facility in the world, allowing scientists to study the particles free from cosmic radiation constantly bombarding the earth's surface.

Residents of Sudbury and all Canadians have reason to be proud of Dr. McDonald's scientific achievements.

I invite all members to join me in conveying our deepest congratulations to the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics winner, Dr. McDonald, and his team of collaborators.

Some honourable members: Hear, hear!

Arts and Science