Japan Scales Up Particle Physics Research

The Next-generation Neutrino Science Organization will oversee the Hyper-Kamiokande nucleon decay and neutrino experiment.

AsianScientist (Nov. 21, 2017) – Scientists in Japan are pushing forward with the Hyper-Kamiokande project which aims to address the mysteries of the origin and evolution of the Universe’s matter. To realize these goals, it will combine a high intensity neutrino beam from the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) with a new detector approximately ten times larger than the present Super-Kamiokande detector.

In collaboration with the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR) and the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), the University of Tokyo announced the launch of its Next-generation Neutrino Science Organization (NNSO). The NNSO is a means of pioneering the future of neutrino physics through the development of neutrino research techniques and detector technologies. In particular, it aims to advance what will become its flagship facility, the Hyper-Kamiokande project.

“Through the cooperation of these three important institutions, I’m sure that a world-class center for neutrino research will be established. Further, it will contribute much to cultivate talented young researchers,” said Professor Masashi Haneda, Executive Vice President of The University of Tokyo and Director of The University of Tokyo Institutes for Advanced Study. “The Hyper-Kamiokande project will lead the world’s neutrino research. I would like to emphasize that the University of Tokyo will do our best to support this newly established organization.”

Professor Takaaki Kajita, director of NNSO and a Nobel laureate for the discovery of neutrino oscillations demonstrating that neutrinos have mass, noted that understanding the neutrino, whose mass is extremely small, is not only important to particle physics, but is also thought to have deep connections to the origins of matter.

By using the Hyper-Kamiokande detector to observe neutrinos created with the high intensity proton accelerator J-PARC, and testing whether or not neutrino and antineutrino oscillations are the same, the researchers expect to close in on the mysteries of our matter-dominated universe. Other research goals include observing the decay of the proton and verifying the unification of the three forces—weak, electromagnetic and strong forces—that act between elementary particles.

“I firmly believe that the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment will be one of the most important experiments in the foreseeable future to study the Universe,” said Professor Hitoshi Murayama, director of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe.


Source: University of Tokyo.
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