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About RCNS


The bubble chamber physics laboratory was established in 1971 for the purpose of elementary particle researches. The laboratory has been reorganized to Research Center for Neutrino Science (RCNS) Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University in April 1998, aiming at evolving neutrino research, neutrino geophysics and neutrino astronomy with the Kamioka liquid scintillator anti-neutrino detector (KamLAND) built at 1000m underground of the Kamioka mine in Hida-city, Gifu-prefecture. The purpose of RCNS is to study elementary particle physics, geophysics and astrophysics through detecting low-energy neutrinos and antineutrinos.Neutrinos are fundamental particles of the nature like quarks and charged leptons, but unlike others they are electrically neutral and quite difficult to be detected, and many characteristics of neutrinos have not been known yet.

Some of the previous experiments performed in the world observed anomalous phenomena which were not explained in the standard theory of elementary particles.Studies of neutrinos are very important not only in developing elementary particle physics but understanding the behavior of the universe which is closely connected with neutrinos. To explore these physics, RCNS designed and constructed in a period of 1998-2002 the world’s largest 1000-ton liquid scintillator neutrino and antineutrino detector, KamLAND (Kamioka Liquid scintillator AntiNeutrino Detector), in the Kamioka Mine in Hida City, Gifu Prefecture.The KamLAND experiment started in January 2002 and being performed by the international collaboration with institutes from Japan, the United States, China and France. The experiment observed for the first time the disappearance of the reactor antineutrinos in 2003 and confirmed that it is caused by the neutrino oscillation in 2005. It also made for the first time the detection of terrestrial antineutrinos (geoneutrinos) in 2005 which come up from deep inside the earth.

Efforts are being made in RCNS and collaboration institutes to further improve the sensitivity of the KamLAND detector to make the first real-time measurement of the low energy neutrinos from the sun (7Be solar neutrinos), which makes more clear the burning mechanism of the sun and stars.With the upgraded KamLAND detector RCNS is going to promote neutrino science involving neutrino astrophysics and newly opened neutrino geophysics.

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