Japan Ministry to Seek 1.8 B. Yen for New Kamiokande

Science Society Technology Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 29 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said Thursday that it will seek 1.8 billion yen under the government's fiscal 2020 budget to cover part of costs to build a new Kamiokande neutrino detector.

The Hyper-Kamiokande, planned by entities including the University of Tokyo's Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, will be the successor to the Kamiokande and the Super-Kamiokande, which led to the winning of the Nobel Prize in Physics by Masatoshi Koshiba, professor emeritus at the university in 2002, and by Takaaki Kajita, head of the institute, in 2015.

The ministry aims to start observations at the Hyper-Kamiokande in fiscal 2027.

It hopes that the Hyper-Kamiokande, which will likely be used to observe the differences between neutrinos, which are elementary particles, and antimatter neutrinos and how the protons decay, will help a Japanese scientist win the Nobel Prize in Physics for a third time.

In the project, a huge cylindrical tank, measuring 74 meters in diameter and 60 meters high, will be constructed 650 meters below ground at the former Kamioka mine in the city of Hida, Gifu Prefecture, central Japan. The tank will be filled with purified water, and a highly sensitive detector will capture faint light emitted when flying neutrinos collide with the water.

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