|Mark Robert Vagins
Having spent fourteen years working on neutrino experiments in Japan ─ and the last decade as the American convener of Super-Kamiokande’s solar and supernova neutrino group ─ I am honored and excited to join IPMU as its first full-time foreign professor.
My research is focused on developing new methods of observing neutrinos, both through the enhancement of existing detectors like Super-Kamiokande (Super-K) and via the design and construction of future facilities. One of my main goals is to measure, for the first time, the diffuse supernova neutrino background (DSNB), often called the“relic” supernova neutrinos.
Supernova explosions have been going on since the start of star formation, and the neutrinos from all of these historical supernovas now fill space. Measuring this DSNB will tell us much about the evolution of the universe, the average rate of star formation, and even the lifetime of the neutrino.
Adding water-soluble gadolinium to Super-K should allow us to detect these relic neutrinos without having to build an all-new experiment. Enhancing Super-K in this manner will also make possible other new physics, including high-statistics reactor antineutrino oscillation studies. My work at the Institute will be focused on making these new measurements a reality.
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