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Japan to build ¥67.5 bil underground neutrino detector in Gifu Pref

10 Comments

Japan has decided to build a new underground neutrino detector in Hida, Gifu Prefecture, to enhance research on the evolution of the universe, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The science ministry will include in its fiscal 2020 budget request a part of the cost for constructing the Hyper-Kamiokande, estimated to total about 67.5 billion yen ($634.5 million).

Earlier models of the neutrino detector -- the Kamiokande and Super-Kamiokande -- were hosted in the same city and helped two Japanese scientists do research that led to the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Takaaki Kajita discovered neutrino oscillations and won the award in 2015 with the Super-Kamiokande, while Masatoshi Koshiba won the same award in 2002 after observing cosmic neutrinos using Kamiokande.

The University of Tokyo, a planned operator of the Hyper-Kamiokande, says the new detector is capable of obtaining data 10 times faster than the previous model.

Through observation of subatomic particles it hopes to find how a supernova explosion helps create heavy elements and make the world's first observation of proton decay.

The envisioned detector, to be built at an underground site 650 meters from the surface, will have a cylinder-shaped water tank measuring 74 meters in diameter and 60 meters in depth and 40,000 ultra-sensitive sensors for capturing light emitted when neutrinos react with water.

The operator will aim to start observation in the latter half of the 2020s, the sources said.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is hoping to cut the towering costs for the project by asking overseas research institutes to shoulder part of the burden, they said.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments
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What a utter waste of money...

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

What a utter waste of money...

Not at all the question how our universe works is very intriguing and cracking that code may some day be vital to the survival of our species.

I am very glad Japan is trying to get to the foreground of technological progress once again.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Takaaki Kajita discovered neutrino oscillations and won the award in 2015 

This is sloppy reporting. Kajita was not the only one who was awarded for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass. Arthur B. McDonald was also awarded at the same time.

Masatoshi Koshiba won the same award in 2002 after observing cosmic neutrinos using Kamiokande.

Again sloppy reporting or deliberate omission. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2002 was divided, one half jointly to Raymond Davis Jr. and Masatoshi Koshiba for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos and the other half to Riccardo Giacconi for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The science ministry will include in its fiscal 2020 budget request a part of the cost for constructing the Hyper-Kamiokande, estimated to total about 67.5 billion yen ($634.5 million)

That money could be used for disaster relief or re-enforcing disaster prone areas....especially in a place like Japan.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

What a utter waste of money...

I agree, there must be better things to spend that amount of money on!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Ever since I first read about Neutrinos, I've been fascinated by the thought that millions of them pass through every "solid" thing on Earth, including my body, without generally even leaving any trace after they'd passed through. If not for the fact that all matter isn't solid, but rather joined atoms, I'd find this notion somewhat disconcerting.

It begs a question of what else we don't know--and I'd imagine that answer would be "A whole lot more than Humanity can imagine". The universe is an amazing place, filled with wonders. Ones that make our petty Human concerns and differences seem trivial and banal in comparison.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As long as they do research on Midi-chlorians at the same time, I'm all for it!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Most of the universe are made up of "dark" matter and "dark" energy that we don't know anything about (that's why they're called "dark" - because we're in the dark about it)

If we can find out more about these "dark" stuff - who knows, it may lead to things like totally recyclable matter, or perpetually renewable energy, faster-than-light-speed travel we can easily go to other planets and moons), endless food replicators for everybody, etc,

The study of neutrinos may lead to that since neutrinos almost never reacts with known matter and energy. It may be an in-between linking the matter and energy that we know and the dark matter and dark energy that we don't know.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Another one!?

Dont tell me, the built the generators below the water table.

Invalid CSRF

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Dinesh

Such an insightful and well written comment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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