Nagoya University: Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe (KMI)

Nagoya University


Message from Director


MASKAWA Toshihide, Director General

MASKAWA ToshihideI am pleased to return to my home school, Nagoya University, for the first time in 40 years upon the establishment of the Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute for the Origin of Particles and the Universe (KMI). The theoretical particle physics group (E-ken: Dr. Sakata founded) at Nagoya University where I spent my student days is still quite active. In addition, KMI, as a new institute, is aiming to explore the fundamental mysteries of elementary particles and the universe and to open a new frontier in physics, in close collaboration not only with theoretical particle physics groups but also with experimental particle physics, theoretical and experimental astrophysics, and related mathematical physics groups.

Nagoya University was established in 1939 as the last imperial university in Japan and celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. However, it was founded during the chaotic period of the last world war and there was still a rich atmosphere of pioneering days even in the 1960s when I was here. Faculty members including Dr. Sakata were young, and so generous and vigorous as to dedicate themselves to establishing new physics on an equal footing with students. At that time, young researchers including myself were also in high spirits by proclaiming, "We have Sakata philosophy", even without any actual achievements. In practice, the approach of the Sakata school was not recognized by foreign researchers in the beginning. However, the situation has changed and the approach has become mainstream since 1974. The dedication of young researchers at the Sakata school has resulted in the successful development of field theory and gauge theory, leading to the Standard Model in the present time.

As time goes by, Nagoya University has been building its own history. In years to come, it is the responsibility of the university to create its own values, both in terms of history and enterprising spirit. Although the number of staff at this newly established KMI is relatively limited, we are aspiring to lead the world with a unique approach. As the proverb says, "A grain of pepper may be tiny but it still is sharp on the tongue".

Your continued support and guidance will be greatly appreciated.