Research Lab Profiles
Professor Shoji Asai (Graduate School of Science)
ATLAS Experiment, Tabletop Experiment
The LHC at CERN carried out its second operational run from 2015 to 2018. The third operational run is scheduled for 2022, and then the high-luminosity LHC is scheduled to go into operation from 2027. Preparations are underway on both the hardware and software fronts. In the ATLAS Collaboration, in addition to being a physical analysis leader, in 2015, I also was appointed joint representative. The Japanese team plays a leading role in research, surrounded by fierce international competition, with the aim of providing further contributions following the discovery of the Higgs boson. Over the coming decade, the amount of experimental data from the LHC will grow dramatically, and we will need 100 times the computation resources we currently have. In order to establish new computation models, we are also focusing our efforts on applying machine learning and quantum computing to elementary particle research.
In Japan, we also conduct elementary particle experiments with the themes of light and vacuum using unique, innovative ideas. They are called "Tabletop experiments". Through our thorough technical development, we will indirectly verify the physics of high-energy regions that cannot be achieved even in accelerators and explore the mysteries of the origin of space.
Professor Toshinori Mori
MEG Experiment, ILC Project
To verify the grand unification of the elementary particles and forces believed to have occurred in the early Universe (supersymmetric Grand Unified Theories (GUTs)), this research lab is leading the MEG international joint experiment, conducted at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), investigating muon decay that is not possible under the Standard Model of elementary particle physics. The MEG experiment has drawn a lot of attention from all around the world, as it is the only experiment capable of researching the decay branching ratios predicted by ultra-high energy physics such as the GUTs or seesaw theory of neutrinos. My role as the primary investigator and spokesperson responsible for the entire international research group is to lead these important physics researches through a successful execution of the MEG experiment. We are currently preparing for MEG II, a further evolution of the MEG experiment. Our goal is to raise experimental sensitivity 10-fold and observe signs of new physics.
Furthermore, as the Japanese representative of the International Committee for Future Accelerator (ICFA) and chairperson of the Japan Association of High Energy Physicists (JAHEP), I look more than a decade into the future to consider and formulate next-generation core plans for global investigation at energy frontiers. I will continue to work on the ILC Project in these international committees and do my utmost to bring about its successful implementation in Japan.
Professor Masaya Ishino
We use the LHC, the world's highest energy particle accelerator, to artificially reproduce and observe the state of the universe shortly after its birth. Our goal is to discover new physical theories and new particles. There are three things that are essential to making new discoveries: the world's finest experimental equipment, excellent ideas, and good luck.
By using the LHC, we automatically meet the first requirement -- and by an overwhelming margin.
We are implementing ideas for observing new physics by using applied research on state-of-the-art electronics capable of processing detector signals at high speeds, and for collecting experimental data while continually making improvements. We thus hope to meet the second requirement.
We're bringing together the brightest young researchers in the finest research environment so that we can engage in discussion, competition, and collaboration as we work together to learn about the unknown. The creative atmosphere is always electric. I'm sure that we will also be blessed by good luck, thereby meeting the third requirement. Come and let's perform experiments using the LHC together!
Professor Junichi Tanaka
Our research lab participates in the ATLAS experiment, searching for new physics. We primarily focus on three research themes. The first is data analysis. We are moving forward with new research, such as the search for the next Higgs boson or supersymmetric particles, in our quest to directly discover the keys to physics that go beyond Standard Theory. The next major theme is research and development aimed at upgrading detectors. We are updating and commissioning trigger read-out of liquid argon electromagnetic calorimeters and developing its FPGA firmware for fast computation of energy. From 2022 onwards, we will be taking on new research themes.
Computer science is also an important theme for future physical analysis. The high-luminosity LHC, which will become operational in 2027, and future large-scale experiments will produce almost unimaginably massive amounts of analysis data. In preparation for this, research and development is underway using cutting-edge IT technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and cloud computing. New ideas born of flexible thinking are essential in this research field.
Project Professor Satoru Yamashita
ILC is one of the most promising candidates for the accelerator experiment projects that will explore the next-generation energy frontier. I play a central role in leading this project, which is being carried out through international collaboration between Europe, the U.S. and Asia. R&D and consensus-forming between international organizations is currently underway, and the ILC Project has entered a critical phase in which the details of its core are being decided. Japan's Kitakami mountains are a strong candidate site for the ILC, and we are working to ensure that the ILC comes to Japan. I have also become the head of the ILC Promotion Panel created in JAHEP last year, and I help guide the community.
Our research lab primarily participates in the development of a measurement equipment called the ILD. We demonstrate leadership in the simulation of target physical phenomena and the evaluation of measurement capabilities.
At J-PARC, Japan's most powerful proton accelerator facility, we are conducting the world's highest intensity elementary particle experiments using ultra-low energy neutrons. We also conduct off-campus classes and engage in numerous outreach activities aimed at fostering greater interest and understanding of elementary particle physics in society.
Associate Professor Wataru Ootani
MEG Experiment, ILC Project
The research interest of our lab is in experimental particle physics with particle accelerator aiming at elucidating the ultimate laws of the Universe. We actively engage in research activities as well as dedicating ourselves to educating students to be experimental physicists with various expertise for detector R&D and physics analysis.
There are two primary research projects in our lab. The first is the MEG experiment in search for μ→eγ with the world's highest sensitivity, which would be a definitive evidence of new physics such as supersymmetric grand unified theory if discovered. The second is the International Linear Collider (ILC), which is a next-generation international project with an electron-positron linear collider.
As the physical analysis coordinator of the MEG experiment, I have led physics analysis and achieved an unprecedented search sensitivity which is thirty times higher than the previous experiment. We are currently leading the development and construction of detectors for the upgraded experiment MEG II with much higher sensitivity. The MEG II experiment is to start soon, having high expectations for the discovery of new physics beyond the standard model.
For the ILC Project, We are working hard for the realization of the Project, focusing primarily on the development of high-granularity calorimeters based on a novel concept for the ILC detector (ILD).
Associate Professor Yasuyuki Okumura
We participate in the ATLAS experiment and carry out research through international collaboration and in the midst of international competition with the aim of discovering signs of entirely new natural phenomena in particle experiment data. We use experimental data to investigate mutual interaction between elementary particles with the aim of creating a new conception of nature from the perspectives of the structure of time-space, the structure of vacuums, and symmetry. In addition to data analysis, operating existing experimental devices and developing new ones is an essential skill for experts. We conduct research through our dynamic team, which is working on the frontlines, both operating the large-scale of the current system while developing the core technologies that will be used in future experiments. We aim to develop personnel with comprehensive research strengths that encompass everything from developing state-of-the-art devices and gathering experimental data to analyzing physical data.
Research is constantly advancing. Let us take on the new challenges that arise each day, such as combining our knowledge to create new ideas and solve problems within the time constraints due to experiment and machine operations. Let us enjoy making rapid progress through small yet steady steps at CERN.
Associate Professor Ryu Sawada
We participate in the ATLAS experiment at CERN and aim to discover new particles, especially candidates for dark matter predicted by supersymmetry theory. In addition to operating the ATLAS Regional Analysis Center, I also conduct research with the goal of improving computation performance for the high-luminosity LHC.
In our search for new particles, we have focused our attention on models that extend the lives of new particles. Our research lab focuses on applying state-of-the-art technologies such as machine learning and quantum computing to elementary particle physics. We hope to develop triggers using machine learning-based software and improve our ability to search for new particles. We are also researching quantum algorithms that can be applied to elementary particle research and developing computation methods for implementing them in actual quantum computers.
Combining creativity and data analysis technologies will be essential for achieving advances in this innovative research. We support the efforts of those with a desire to learn and apply state-of-the-art computing technologies to make new physics discoveries.
Associate Professor Koji Terashi
As a recognized leader for physics analysis in ATLAS at CERN, I have been leading search for new phenomena, including Extra Dimensions and Supersymmetry. The LHC will enter into a new era of "High-Luminosity LHC" in 2027, which will produce large amount of data, corresponding to 20-30 fold increase with respect to the data collected so far. With such large dataset, we might witness unexpected discovery of new physics. To ensure such discovery, a new computing paradigm is required to cope with those unprecedented data.
Therefore, I am working on quantum computing and its application to machine learning and simulation. Quantum sensing is also considered as another interesting and powerful probe to new phenomena beyond the electroweak scale. My main aim is to realize quantum computing application to fundamental science and real-life problems, by focusing on the layers of quantum algorithm, quantum software and qubit technology, and their inter-connections.
Quantum information science and technology are growing rapidly, but we are just at the door to a vast, uncharted quantum world. Anyone who wants to explore this exciting quantum landscape is very welcome!
Tetsuro Mashimo uses computing technologies to support the ATLAS experiment, the elementary particle physics experiment with the world's highest energy. Into the computer system of ICEPP he introduced grid technologies which makes it possible to handle the systems of over 150 research institutions worldwide as if they were a single system. He continuously improves the ICEPP computer system.
Tatsuya Masubuchi contributed to the discovery of a Higgs boson by analysing decay modes in which the Higgs boson decays into W' boson pairs. He is now performing precise measurement of the Higgs boson's property, the gateways to new physics. He also makes improvements to muon spectrometers.
Yutaro Iiyama explores applications of quantum computing and machine learning for particle physics. He also investigates novel analysis techniques and improvements to the ATLAS computing systems in preparation for the massive increase of the data volume at HL-LHC.
Project Assistant Professor
Masahiko Saito aims to discover new physics by applying new technologies such as machine learning and quantum computing. He also operates and improves a grid system for processing large-scale data.
Project Assistant Professor
Sanmay Ganguly is interested in applications of deep learning in high energy physics (HEP) and has applied to the identification of heavy flavor jets, particle flow, and so on. Now he works on developing reconstruction methods for Higgs-pair production and generalized symmetry identification methods in HEP using graph neural network.
Wai Yuen Chan
Chan Wai Yuen explores the application of quantum computing for particle physics. Especially the application of quantum annealing machine and quantum machine learning algorithm for particle tracking. He also aims to discover the possibility of quantum computing application for jet reconstruction and heavy-flavour identification.
Yuji Enari performs precision measurement of coupling constants between Higgs bosons and third-generation bottom and top quarks. He also makes improvements to liquid argon electromagnetic calorimeters and develops new devices for use in future experiments.
Tomoyuki Saito aims to further develop elementary particle physics and unravel the mysteries of the beginning of the Universe through the discovery of supersymmetric particles and dark matter. He works on upgrading detector and trigger electronics in order to explore higher energy physics.
Project Assistant Professor
Takuya Nobe explores new physics beyond the Standard Model, such as extra dimensions, and perform verification of the Higgs mechanism using the final state of boson pairs. He also operates online trigger systems for data acquisition.
Project Assistant Professor
Masahiro Morinaga develops new types of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that will assist in the discovery of new physical phenomena that we have not predicted. He also operates tracking detectors and searches for dark matter candidates predicted by supersymmetry theory.
Lento Nagano studies possible application of quantum computers / algorithms to simulation of quantum field theories / quantum many body systems. He also estimates computational costs and errors in quantum simulation and considers ways to reduce them.
Toshiyuki Iwamoto carries out the MEG II experiment as run coordinators and technical coordinators and is responsible for the operation and calibration of liquid xenon gamma ray detectors. He aims to further increase experimental sensitivity and discover new physics.
Sei Ban contributes to stable MEG II experiment execution over long term by developing an annealing method for recovering detection efficiency of optical sensor, MPPC. He also develops a correction method of non-linear response of MPPC. He also aims to develop machine learning algorithm to reduce gamma-ray pile-up events by image recognition.
Project Assistant Professor
Yusuke Uchiyama develops new detectors for ultra-high-accuracy measurement of the positrons emitted from muon decay, for use in the MEG II experiment. As a software coordinator, he is working to achieve high efficiency, high precision analysis.
In order to make the physics case of the ILC, Junping Tian is researching the precision Higgs physics, including Higgs boson self-couplings, etc., to elucidate the mysteries of electroweak symmetry breaking. He is also working on the detector optimization for the ILD on the physics performance.
Toshio Namba searches for phenomena that deviate from the standard model by using positronium, the lightest atom, consisting of only a paired electron and positron. He is also developing detectors that will produce future breakthroughs.
Project Assistant Professor
Toshiaki Inada develops superconducting and optical devices used in quantum computers. He also uses quantum sensors to perform research regarding artificial black holes and the quantum nature of gravity, and to search for axions.
Other elementary particle experiments
Yoshio Kamiya/Graduate School of Science
Yoshio Kamiya performs tests of gravity using slow neutrons, searches for undiscovered mutual interactions and new particles, tests of non-perturbative nonlinear QED under intense laser fields, and developments of detectors for future lepton colliders.
Yoshiyuki Onuki/Graduate School of Science
Yoshiyuki Onuki aims to detect phenomena that go beyond Standard Model by measuring matter-antimatter symmetry breaking using B mesons and performing experiments aimed at discovering new elementary particles. He is developing semiconductor radiation detectors that can be used in future high-energy experiments.
Yoshizumi Inoue/Graduate School of Science
Yoshizumi Inoue is involved in various projects including an experiment aiming at the direct detection of hidden-photon dark matter, development of a mobile neutrino detector, and obsevation of gamma-ray bursts from the thunder clouds utilizing a neutrino detector.
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* Including Asai Lab. & Komamiya Lab.(until 2017), Graduate School of Science