Kai Uwe Martens
Principal investigator (from 2017/04/01 )
Associate Professor (from 2015/04/01 )
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Research Field
Experimental Physics
<kai.martens _at_> 

Last Update 2018/11/01

"Physics or philosophy?" was the question that got answered when in 1994 I received my Ph.D. from Heidelberg University in Germany. It was earned during five exciting years on a hyperon beam experiment at CERN.

In 1995 I came to the University of Tokyo and Kamioka where we built the Super-Kamiokande (SK) detector. Upon my return in 2008 to Kamioka I re-joined SK to continue working on solar neutrinos and wait for a galactic Supernova. Through my work on both SK and K2K in my early days in Kamioka I am on the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Physics team.

In 2000 I became faculty at the University of Utah. Results from our HiRes experiment in Utah changed the paradigm in cosmic ray physics: The CZK-cutoff exists! The Telescope Array experiment continues taking data near Delta, Utah, to this day, and I had a major role in bringing that about.

The biggest problem in contemporary physics to me is the nature of Dark Matter (DM). Upon returning to Kamioka in 2008 I joined XMASS, which had a great run with many interesting results. My group is using Machine Learning to see if we can better exploit XMASS data: by the time it will shut down at the end of 2018, XMASS will have taken high quality data continually over five full years.

Japan recently joined the next generation DM experiment XENONnT to hopefully discover DM particles - I am currently the Japanese PI in XENON. We may bring the EGADS water Cherenkov with gadolinium sulfate technology to XENONnT's neutron veto, and are also integrating our XMASS knowledge of liquid xenon purification with that of the XENON collaboration.

Experimental data are the foundation of knowledge, and knowledge is what we seek at Kavli IPMU. Here we integrate the insights data provides with the structures mathematics provides by the collective effort and skill of theorists, experimentalists, mathematicians, and philosophers - a great place to be, a great place to keep learning.

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