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The Hero of Gravitational Waves Comes to Meidai

  • Read in Japanese
  • 2018/01/17

Institute of International Education and Exchange

Designated Prof. Atsuko Tsuji

The last fall, news that American scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for capturing the gravitational waves for the first time was received with much excitement on these shores too. One of the names the US scientists cited as a contributor to their breakthrough achievement was Professor Seiji Kawamura from the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research at the University of Tokyo. Kawamura is also a key member of the KAGRA Large-scale Cryogenic Gravitational Wave Telescope project. KAGRA may have been beaten by the US team to the "world's first" accolade, but with observations due to start next year, it will soon be at the forefront of the nascent field of gravitational-wave astronomy.

The images of Kawamura on news programs being interviewed at KAGRA may still be fresh in our minds, but in fact he left KAGRA in mid-December - to join Nagoya University as Professor of Physics.

I was amazed to hear this news, and rather puzzled: what has brought him to Nagoya?


Professor Seiji Kawamura in his laboratory


"I want to see the very moment of the birth of the universe."

"I want to see the very moment of the birth of the universe."

When I visited Kawamura in his new laboratory, still full of unopened cardboard boxes stacked high, and posed the question, he answered without hesitation.

"Is it possible here?" To my second question, he immediately answered, "Sure, I came to Nagoya for the purpose."......>>read more on the Meidai Watch


Atsuko Tsuji: Earned B.A. in Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo in 1976. Joined The Asahi Shimbun Company in 1979 as a journalist and wrote many articles in science and technology area for newspaper and magazines published by the company including editorial pieces. Knight Science Journalism Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989 and Reuters Fellow at University of Oxford in 2014. Designated Professor of Nagoya University's Institute of International Education and Exchange since October 2016.

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