On October 1, 2017, the University of Tokyo launched Next-Generation Neutrino Science Organization (NNSO), where the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU), and the School of Science cooperate for pioneering the future of neutrino physics through the development of neutrino research techniques and detector technologies. In particular, it aims to promote what will become its flagship facility, the Hyper-Kamiokande project. To mark the occasion, an inaugural ceremony was held on November 8, 2017 in Kamioka Observatory, Japan.
In his opening remarks, Professor Takaaki Kajita, Director of NNSO and Nobel laureate, stated the importance of the major objectives of the organization: “By observing neutrinos created with the high intensity proton accelerator J-PARC at Hyper-Kamiokande, we expect to close in on the mysteries of our matter dominated universe. Further, we would like to discover the decay of the proton and thereby verify the unification of the three forces that act between elementary particles. Through the research represented by these goals, we would like to greatly expand our knowledge of elementary particles and the universe.”
Professor Masashi Haneda, Executive Vice President of The University of Tokyo, greeted attendees: “Through the cooperation of the three important institutions, I’m sure that a world-class center for the neutrino research will be established. Further, it will contribute much to cultivate talented young researchers. Succeeding Kamiokande and Super-Kamiokande, the Hyper-Kamiokande project will lead the world’s neutrino research. I would like to underline that the University of Tokyo will do our best to support this newly established organization.”
Tomonori Nishii, Section Chief, Division of Academic Institutions of Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT), gave a congratulatory address: “In July of this year, in MEXT “Roadmap 2017 ––– Fundamental Concepts for Promoting Large Scientific Research Projects –––” has been compiled. It made the implementation priority of such projects clear. Hyper-Kamiokande is highly evaluated and listed in the Roadmap with six other projects. Today, I laud the University of Tokyo for establishing this cooperative research organization to advance world-leading neutrino science. I strongly believe that it marks a major milestone towards the dramatic development of this field.”
Prof. Hiroyuki Takeda, Dean of School of Science, said: “The School of Science has a long and intimate relationship to the research in Kamioka as Professor Koshiba started the original Kamiokande experiment when he was a faculty member of School of Science. It is our great pleasure that we can further deepen the relationship with ICRR and Kavli IPMU through this organization to further promote the neutrino physics and the Hyper-Kamiokande project.”
Prof. Hitoshi Murayama, Director of Kavli IPMU, noted: “I firmly believe that the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment will be one of the most important experiments in a foreseeable future to study the Universe. Kavli IPMU would like to contribute to the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment with experimental expertise, theoretical support, and international networking. I'm very excited. Let's make the Hyper-Kamiokande experiment happen!”
The ceremony was attended by about 100 people from MEXT, The University of Tokyo, KEK, local government and community, Kamioka mining and smelting company, and collaborating scientists. At the end, all attendees got together to take a group photo and celebrated the start of the new organization for promotion of neutrino physics and Hyper-Kamiokande project.