Director's Message

Big Questions from Elementary Particles and the Universe
- Answering with Particle Physics and Contributing to Human Knowledge

Masaya Ishino
Director, ICEPP, The University of Tokyo

What is the nature of our Universe? What are the basic elements that form matter?
Particle physics is an academic discipline that confronts the common questions of humanity head-on and elucidates them by introducing cutting-edge technologies and infinite ideas.

In the LHC-ATLAS experiment, a core project of ICEPP, we are conducting joint research with 3,000 colleagues from around the world using the world's highest energy accelerator. This is a typical example of large-scale science, and it is an inevitable development to pioneer cutting-edge science.

The Higgs particle, discovered by us in 2012, has opened the door to a new research field, the vacuum of the universe. It gives us hints for deepening our understandings of the evolution of the universe, and raising new questions at the same time. This is a progress of science, and we aim to continue making such achievements and contribute to human knowledge.

ICEPP is also involved in applied research of quantum computing and quantum sensors, which have a great potential to accelerate the progress of science. The behaviors of elementary particles are essentially quantum phenomena, and we consider it should be a natural attempt to calculate them with quantum computers. ICEPP is also trying to apply quantum sensors to search for new particles. We aim to utilize quantum technology for the advancement of science.

The essence of physics is to understand and unify seemingly different phenomena by identifying their essential parts. We intend to pursue research based on this basic concept and answer big questions from particles and the universe. To this end, we will further enhance the value of ICEPP by contributing greatly to human knowledge in conjunction with new technologies, and by producing young talents who can realize these on a global scale.