Department of Physics, Faculty of Science
Purpose of physics is to understand systematically a variety of phenomena in nature. Physical science researches have revealed mysteries of rich nature in elementary particles, atomic nucleus and condensed matters as well as universe so far. In modern physical science researches, new states of matter are investigated under the extreme conditions, such as extremely low temperature, extra high pressure, ultra-high magnetic field and so on, and their research fields are now expanded into complex system, biological phenomena and others. Development of physics sometime provides a paradigm shift in our view of the world, such as a switch from the Ptolemaic theory to the Copernican theory. In addition, results of the physics researches have been widely applied to the modern technologies and have changed our life.
A seminar in Particle Theory and Cosmology group. A variety of scales in the world from elementary particles, i.e. the most microscopic scale of structure, to the universe are targeted of the physical science research. In order to study such frontier of physics, student learn modern physics.
Studies of particle physics are promoted by measuring the double beta decay of 136Xe nuclei and the reactor neutrino oscillation using KamLAND detector. Physics of the earth and the sun, and astronomy are also pursued by observation of neutrinos. Students are encouraged to join these world’s leading and unique researches in Tohoku University.
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University
Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Tohoku University was founded in 1911. Our department is one of the world’s largest facilities for the physical science research and education; the number of the staff is approximately 160, and almost all advanced research fields in recent physical science are covered. In the undergraduate education course, students learn basic physics, and the 4th-year students make study of specific topics in the research laboratories. After completion of the undergraduate school programs, a number of graduates go on to the graduate course, in which they make advanced researches in frontier of physics. Physics researches in Tohoku University is highly appreciated by the international organizations, and it is rated as the world’s top-ranked facility (the 12th place in the world, and the 2nd place in Japan (Thomson Reuters 2012)).
We are at the world’s top level in studies of hypernuclei (nuclei made of the third particles in addition to protons and neutrons) and unstable nuclei (nuclei with asymmetric numbers of protons and neutrons).
Photo shows graduate students and a professor preparing a gamma-ray detector system used to study those new types of nuclei.
In Theoretical Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics group, mechanisms of macroscopic phenomena which emerge in many particle systems are revealed by using analytical calculations, computer simulations, as well as active discussion. Strongly interacting electron systems, topological properties in solids, non-equilibrium properties, biomaterials and so on are targeted.
There are a number of the research groups in Department of Physics, Tohoku University. In the elementary particle and atomic nucleus groups, origin of the universe, neutrino mass and supersymmetry, hypernucleus, unstable atomic structure and its reaction, and others are studied. In the condensed matter physics groups, macroscopic phenomena which are not expected from each particles, such as exotic superconductivity due to electron-electron interaction, are examined. Experimental researches by using microwave, x-ray, neutron and other, nanophysics in which quantum effect emerges, and extremely low temperature physics are one of the research topics. Physics research fields are now expanded into femtosecond laser system, nanomaterial, organic and macromolecule systems, and biological system.
Hight resolution photoemission spectroscopy: Ultraviolet ray applied into materials kicks electrons out. By measuring energy and momentum of photelectrons, properties inside materials are revealed.
Femto second laser system: Femto second (10-15 sec) corresponds to one oscillation period of atoms and molecules in solids. Such ultrashort laser pulse captures a snapshot of light-matter interaction.
During the first one-and-half year in the undergraduate course, students learn the basic science and physics (classical mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics and so on). At the end of the third semester, the physics education course is separated into the educations courses of Department of Physics, Department of Geophysics and Astronomical Institute. Students in Department of Physics learn the basic subjects in modern physics, such as quantum physics and statistical physics, and experimental training. The 4th-year students make study of specific topics in the research laboratories. Our mission in the undergraduate educational course is not only to bring students up future academic researchers but also to develop human resources for industry and society.