Message From Seniors

Shintaro Miki

2nd year master’s degree student in the Faculty of Science & Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo

Enjoy forms of trial and error that nobody has ever done before

I am mainly conducting two studies, one of which is the testing of photosensors manufactured for Hyper-Kamiokande. We place the photosensors in a darkroom to test the response when a weak light is applied. Photosensors, one of the essential components of Hyper-Kamiokande, affect the overall performance of the detector and are very interesting to investigate. Further, it is exciting to imagine that the light sensor that we are investigating now will capture the light from neutrinos at the bottom of Hyper-Kamiokande in a few years. Another study is the analysis of atmospheric neutrino oscillations at Super-Kamiokande. We aim to observe neutrinos more accurately using the information from neutrons, which are now more visible due to the dissolution of gadolinium in the water of the detector in 2020. It is a series of trial and error as nobody has ever done this before. However, I enjoy seeing the results of what we have tried.

When I entered the doctoral course, I moved to an apartment about 20 minutes by car from the research institute, and I plan to make my life as a researcher in Kamioka more fulfilling. There is even no convenience store around the research center, but when I explore nature here and there, I enjoy the feeling of returning to elementary school. While walking around, I talk with neighboring residents and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle unique to countryside areas.

I hope that we can work together with many people to conduct research that will bring out the potential of the Super-Kamiokande and Hyper-Kamiokande.

Yuri Kashiwagi

1st year master’s degree student in the Faculty of Science & Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo

Upgrading the supernova explosion alarm system with researchers all over the world at Kamioka

I am a member of the Super-Kamiokande Supernova Explosion Warning System Development Team. The introduction of gadolinium to Super-Kamiokande in 2020 improved the accuracy when determining the direction of the supernova from the information of neutrinos emitted by the explosion. Therefore, the development team has been upgrading the original supernova explosion alarm system. As part of this, I have been in charge of incorporating the simulation results of various supernova explosion models proposed by researchers around the world into the system. Since there are some researchers from France in the development team, the progress report meeting once a week is held in English. Being able to engage with researchers from various countries based in Japan is one of the attractions of the Kamioka Group. My research field has changed since graduate school, so I have many things to learn; however, I am taking small steps every day with the help of various people.

I go back and forth between Tokyo (living on my own) and Kamioka every few weeks to two months since it has been a type of research that can be performed remotely so far. Biggest merit of visiting Kamioka is that I can quickly solve trivial problems in my research through casual discussions with professors, senior members, and colleagues. The delicious and well-balanced meals served in the research facility also contribute to my comfortable stay in Kamioka. On Sundays and holidays, there are no meals, so I enjoy driving a shared car with senior members and colleagues into Toyama to have lunch (although we need to eat silently now) and to go shopping. There are few women, but this does not cause any problems.