University of TokyoKavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe

Seeking answers to profound problems in cosmology with a unique combination of physics, astronomy, and mathematics

An institute within the University of Tokyo, the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) brings together a wide range of researchers – from pure mathematicians and string theorists to experimental particle physicists and observational astronomers – in a truly multi-disciplinary and collaborative environment. First established in 2007 under a Japanese government initiative as the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU), the Institute received an endowment from The Kavli Foundation in early 2012 and became the Kavli IPMU.

FOUNDED 2012
visit institute website

Leadership

Hirosi Ooguri

Director, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe

Hiroaki Aihara

Deputy Director, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe

Tomiyoshi Haruyama

Deputy Director, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe

Misao Sasaki

Deputy Director, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe

AREAS OF INQUIRY

  • MATHEMATICS: The Kavli IPMU regards pure mathematics research as fundamental to its quest to understand the universe. The Institute’s mathematicians, for example, are working on new geometric tools to help string theorists develop a new physical description of the universe that includes six extra dimensions – in addition to the four dimensions of space and time that are familiar to us. Other work in advanced algebra aims to develop laws that govern that description. On the other hand, mathematicians use tools developed in string theory to attack their own problems.
  • HIGH ENERGY THEORY: The pursuit of a unified theory that explains both general relativity, which describes the physics of gravity, and quantum mechanics, which describes the physics of elementary particles, may lie in string theory, which postulates that matter at its most fundamental is comprised of vibrating strings. The close relationship between string theory and mathematics has inspired advances in both fields, and collaborations at the Kavli IPMU are ongoing.
  • COSMOLOGY: Recent progress both in theory and observation has led to a more precise and quantitative understanding of the universe from its very early stages to today. This has caused tension among observational data and between theory and observations. Kavli IPMU researchers are tackling these problems to look for a more comprehensive picture of the universe.
  • EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS AND OBSERVATIONAL ASTRONOMY: The Kavli IPMU is involved with a wide range of experimental and observational projects.
    • Cosmic Microwave Background Projects: The LiteBIRD satellite will probe the physics of the very early universe, and the Kavli IPMU is responsible for key measurement instruments as well as hosting the data science center.
    • Kamioka Projects: This includes the gadolinium project at Super-Kamiokande, T2K, and the construction of Hyper-Kamiodande. The addition of gadolinium to the Super-Kamiokande water tank – the Kavli IPMU initiative – will improve its efficiency significantly and enable detections of supernova relic neutrinos.
    • Survey Astronomy: Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) is a gigantic charge-coupled device camera mounted on the Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea, Hawaii. Kavli IPMU is a leading institution for the HSC project. With HSC, Kavli IPMU astronomers have already gained significant insights into the nature of dark matter and dark energy through gravitational lensing studies. Additionally, the Kavli IPMU is leading an international collaboration to build the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS). Once completed, it will allow simultaneous spectral observation of distant galaxies across a wide field of view.

Read more about the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe

see all news

At Kavli Institutes around the world, scientists explore the frontiers of science in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, neuroscience and theoretical physics.

See all institutes

Subscribe

Newsletter
  • Home
  • News & Events
  • Staff
  • Contact
The Kavli Foundation
The Kavli Foundation

Advancing science for the benefit of humanity.

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Creative Commons License

Copyright © 2021 The Kavli Foundation