Many discoveries about the Universe in recent years have prompted us to reshape established paradigms, academic disciplines and our view of the world. For example, we now know that the expanding Universe is also accelerating, that there are many planets outside of our Solar System, that dark matter and dark energy are the dominant components in the Universe, and that cosmic dust was present even in the very early Universe. These advances have been obtained by breaking down the conventional boundaries between physics, astronomy, planetary science and Earth science, allowing scientists to understand the Universe from its smallest elements through a range of cutting-edge scientific methods.
Researchers at Hokkaido University have applied their wide selection of expertise to exploring the Universe over its breathtaking scale. Our interests run from elementary particles and atomic nuclei through to celestial objects such as the Earth and planets and the formation of the Universe itself. In addition, we are committed to sharing these research activities through educational efforts, with undergraduate and graduate students from a wide range of backgrounds taking part in research projects under faculty tutorage.
Our department, established in 2006, consists of four laboratories belonging to the Department of Physics, one laboratory belonging to the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, two laboratories belonging to the Institute of Low Temperature Science (ILTS), and one laboratory belonging to the Information Initiative Center (IIC). In addition, we are also joined by researchers in the Nuclear Reaction Data Centre, and Spacecraft Observation group. In our department, education and research in physics, astronomy, 4 planetary science and Earth science are combined closely with the goal of breaking free from the boundaries separating observation, experiment and theory. We strive to ensure our students go on to use their detailed knowledge and problem-solving expertise to contribute both to the international scientific community, and positively to society as a whole.