Hyper-Kamiokande is Launched

February 2020: The Government of Japan approves Hyper-Kamiokande – a  new long base-line neutrino experiment with significant Canadian involvement

Hyper-Kamiokande (HK or Hyper-K) project is the world-leading international scientific research project hosted by Japan aiming to elucidate the origin of matter and the Grand Unified Theory of elementary particles. The project consists of the Hyper-K detector, which has an 8.4 times larger fiducial mass than its predecessor, Super-Kamiokande, equipped with newly developed high-sensitivity photosensors and a high-intensity neutrino beam produced by an upgraded J-PARC accelerator facility.

The supplementary budget for FY2019 which includes the first-year construction budget of 3.5 billion yen for the Hyper-Kamiokande project was approved by the Japanese Diet. The Hyper-K project has officially started. The operations will begin in 2027. The overall Japanese contribution will include the cavern excavation, construction of the tank (water container) and its structure, half of the photosensors for the inner detector, main part of the water system, Tier 0 offline computing, together with J-PARC accelerator upgrade and construction of a new experimental facility for the near detector complex. International contributions will include the rest of photosensors for the inner detector, sensor covers and light collectors, photosensors for the outer detector, readout electronics, data acquisition system, water system upgrade, detector calibration systems, downstream offline computing system, and the near/intermediate detector complex.

Canadian collaborators, who have played key roles on Hyper-K, have expressed excitement for the project’s approval. The Canadian contribution undertaken at several institutions across the country, includes significant contributions to the design of the experiment and leadership on R&D of technologies and techniques for maximising the capabilities of Hyper-K.

For instance, Canadians are leading the development of a new near detector called the Intermediate Water Cherenkov Detector (IWCD), which employs high-resolution photon detection to measure the properties of the reaction between neutrinos and Hyper-K’s detection medium – 260,000 tonnes of ultra pure water – in order to reduce systematic uncertainties. This work relied on collaboration between scientists from Canada, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, and Japan.

Canadians also aim to achieve the most efficient use of data from the Hyper-K neutrino detectors by applying cutting edge calibration techniques, such as photogrammetry, and data reconstruction techniques, such as machine learning.

TRIUMF Research Scientist, IWCD working group convener and Hyper-K Technical Coordinator Dr. Mark Hartz commented, “Canadian scientists collaborating on Hyper-K are excited to hear news of the approval of the project in Japan. We look forward to applying the results of our long-running R&D program to the construction phase of the Hyper-K project.”

Dr. Hartz added, “The success of the Canadian research and development efforts for Hyper-K is thanks to the strong collaboration of scientists across multiple Canadian research institutes and universities. We see the approval of Hyper-K as an opportunity to grow the Canadian participation in the project and enhance the impact Canada will have on the cutting edge science the Hyper-K project will deliver.”

Canadian collaborators on the Hyper-K project include scientists at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Carleton University, University of Regina, TRIUMF, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Winnipeg and York University