Juan Pedro Ochoa-Ricoux

Professor of Physics and Astronomy
(949) 824-1707
3119 Frederick Reines Hall
Research Area: 
B.S. in Physics, Monterrey, Mexico
M.A. in Physics, Caltech
Ph.D. in Physics, Caltech
Professor Ochoa-Ricoux’s research is focused on neutrinos, ghostly elementary particles that interact very weakly with matter. Neutrinos are emitted from a wide variety of sources, both artificial and natural. Examples range from nuclear reactors and particle accelerators to the Earth itself, our atmosphere, the Sun, and supernovae. Ochoa-Ricoux’s work improves our understanding of these sources as well as of the structure of our world at the subatomic level. 

Ochoa-Ricoux joined the department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California Irvine in 2018, on the heels of being a Professor of Physics at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile for 5 years. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics in Monterrey, Mexico. In 2003, he moved to Caltech where he earned his Masters and PhD through his work in the MINOS experiment, where accelerator-produced neutrinos were shot underground for 735 km between Illinois and Minnesota. In 2009, he was awarded the prestigious Chamberlain Fellowship at Berkeley Lab, where he worked in the Daya Bay experiment that studies neutrinos produced by 6 nuclear reactors in the southeast of China.  
Since then Ochoa-Ricoux has continued to study neutrinos with increasing precision and to lay the ground for new measurements, most notably as a member of the JUNO experiment in China and the DUNE experiment in the United States, both of which are under construction. He has also contributed to the ATLAS experiment at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) that studies the proton-proton collisions from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and he is a member of an international collaboration called LiquidO that is pioneering a new type of neutrino detector. 
Professor Ochoa-Ricoux is the recipient of several awards, including the National Prize of Youth from the President of Mexico in 2009, the Springer PhD Thesis Award in 2010, the prize for the Most Promising Scientist at the Doctoral Level from the “Great Minds in STEM” organization in 2012, the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2016, and the 2021 International Partnership Prize for Young Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was also selected as a young scientist of the World Economic Forum in 2018 and has received several awards for teaching.

Research Group Website

UCI Faculty Profile

Faculty Assistant: 
Paula Ramos, pramos@uci.edu, (949) 335-6367