Endowed Research Unit Established in Kavli IPMU

On April 1, 2014, the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) and Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. established the Endowed Research Unit: Dark side of the Universe. This is the first endowed research unit for the field of fundamental science, such as elementary particle physics and cosmology, in the University of Tokyo.

Researchers have found that more than 95 percent of the universe is made of mysterious dark matter and dark energy. They are invisible and hard to detect but quite important to understand the universe we live in. The endowed research unit tries to reveal this mystery of the universe via attempts to observe such a “dark side” of the universe.

Dr. Ken’ichi Nomoto, Project Professor of Kavli IPMU, assumed the post of Hamamatsu Professor in the unit. He leads diverse research projects related to dark energy, dark matter and supernovae.

“This endowed research unit will boost discussions between researchers in the fundamental science and engineers in the company,” says Hitoshi Murayama, Director of Kavli IPMU, “I hope the establishment of this unit marks the first big step for a wide support of fundamental research by industry.”


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Kavli IPMU (Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe) is an international research institute with English as its official language. The goal of the institute is to discover the fundamental laws of nature and to understand the universe from the synergistic perspectives of mathematics, astronomy, and theoretical and experimental physics. The Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) is established in October 2007 as one of the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) of the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan with the University of Tokyo as the host institution. IPMU was designated as the first research institute within Todai Institutes for Advanced Study (TODIAS) in January 2011. It received endowment from The Kavli Foundation and was renamed “Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe” in April 2012. Kavli IPMU is located on the Kashiwa campus of the University of Tokyo, and more than half of its full-time scientific members come from outside Japan. http://www.ipmu.jp/