P.Minkowski, P. Ramond, T. Yanagida, G. Senjanovićin and R. Mohapatra will not get the Nobel prize 2014 for the discovery of the see-saw mechanism...

... but may be another day, only right-handed neutrinos know 
A nod to the famous event expected for tomorrow. The  ZapperZ's physics blog informed us that some predictions (based on some computations?*) favor for 2014 a prize for condensed matter physics rather than high energy physics, well this is just a fair return of the pendulum (or see-saw ;-) I guess.
The discovery of neutrino masses and mixings has been an important milestone in the history of particle physics and rightly qualifies as the first evidence for new physics beyond the standard model. The amount of new information on neutrinos already established from various neutrino oscillation searches has provided very strong clues to new symmetries of particles and new directions for unification. Enough puzzles have emerged making this field a hotbed for theory research with implications ranging all the way from supersymmetry and grand unification to cosmology and astrophysics. A major cornerstone for the theory research in this field has been the seesaw mechanism introduced 25 years ago in four independently written papers [1] to understand why neutrino masses are so much smaller than the masses of other fermions of the standard model. Even though there was no solid evidence for neutrino masses then, there were very well motivated extensions of the standard models that led to nonzero masses for neutrinos. It was therefore incumbent on those models that they have a mechanism for understanding why upper limits on neutrino masses known at that time were so small and the seesaw mechanism was introduced in the context of specific such models in the year 1979 e.g. horizontal, left-right and SO(10) models to achieve this goal. A general operator description of small neutrino mass without any specific model was written down the same year [2]. A very minimal non supersymmetric SO(10) model was constructed soon after as an application [3]. It was clear from this early enthusiasm about the idea that if the experimental evidence for neutrino masses ever appeared then, seesaw mechanism would be a major tool in understanding its various ramifications. As we see below, this has indeed turned out to be the case...  
In summary, the seesaw mechanism is by far the simplest and most appealing way to understand neutrino masses. It not only improves the aesthetic appeal of the standard model by restoring quark-lepton symmetry but it also makes weak interactions asymptotically parity conserving. Furthermore it connects neutrino masses with the hypothesis of grand unification.
(Submitted on 24 Dec 2004)

The prediction of small neutrino masses through the Seesaw Mechanism and their subsequent measurement suggests that the natural cut-off of the Standard Model is very high indeed. The recent neutrino data must be interpreted as a reflection of physics at very high energy...  
We are beginning to read the new lepton data, but there is much work to do before a credible theory of flavor is proposed. The Seesaw Mechanism links static neutrino to physics that can never be reached by accelerators, creating a new era of the physics which centers around right-handed neutrinos. With no electroweak quantum numbers, they could hold the key to the flavor puzzles. The second large neutrino mixing angle suggests that hierarchy is independent of electroweak breaking, and occurs at grand-unified scales
I became aware ... of a prescient paper by P. Minkowski, Phys. Lett. B67, 421(1977), in which the seesaw matrix is proposed. It predates our contribution, but is presented in a limited context that does not establish the link to Planck scale physics, the heart of the seesaw mechanism as we know it.
(Submitted on 31 Oct 2004)


*the predictions failed for the physiology or medicine  prize.


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