Researcher Information

Takashi Okamoto

Lecturer

Galaxy formation in supercomputers

Department of Physics, Quantum Physics

basic_photo_1
Theme

Simulating structure formation in the Univesrse, such as galaxies and cluster of galaxies.

FieldTheoretical astronomy, Cosmology, Galaxy formation
KeywordGalaxies, Cluster of galaxies, Supermassive black holes

Department of Physics, Quantum Physics

Takashi Okamoto

Lecturer

basic_photo_1
What made you decide to become a researcher?

In a Japanese cartoon, Doraemon, there is a scene where Nobita is worried that “If I eat this chestnut bun, it will be delicious, but it will go away. If I don’t eat it, it will stay here. But in this case, I don’t taste it.”

When I was young, I mean before I went to Kindergarten, I had a similar problem with Nobita. My father advised me “You should eat only half of it at a time. Then, the other half always remains. You can continue eating half of the remaining half forever.”

But I thought that the cake (my problem wasn’t chestnut bun) would become smaller and smaller. My father told me “If you feel it is too small and it isn’t enough, you should eat more. It will never disappear.”  I felt like I was being deceived by him. But I was more concerned how far I could go. How small the cake could be divided into?

My father told me that there was a limitation. Ordinary matter like the cake was composed of atoms and electrons, and atoms were composed of protons and neutrons. I asked him if protons and neutrons are composed of other particles. He told me about quarks without confidence.

That piece of cake made me interested in the fundamental building blocks that make up the world. I, however, chose astrophysics rather than particle physics as my field for some reason.

basic_photo_1
What do you usually do when your research work gets stuck?

When my research gets stuck, I do research. I work even harder and try everything I can think of. These attempts usually fail. However, after random attempts, I often come up with the right idea when I am relaxed, such as during jogging or in my sleep.

basic_photo_1
Please tell us about yourself; things you are good at, your favorites, hobbies, and daily routines.

I like wild animals and birds. On holidays I go to mountains and forests to take pictures of them. My favorite animal in Hokkaido is the pika (Ezonakiusagi). They are relics of the ice age. As a survivor of the generation who underwent the employment ice age, I may feel an affinity with them.

In winter I often wander in the forest wearing snowshoes looking for flying squirrels. I also go scuba diving in summer to take pictures of sea life. To keep fit, I often run. Indeed, I am a serious runner. Since I broke three-hour in a full marathon in 2013, I have been achieving sub-3-hour marathons every year.

A picture of a pika warbling in Mt. Tokachi. It is unusual to come out so close.