INTERNATIONAL LABORATORY FOR ASTROPHYSICS, NEUTRINO AND COSMOLOGY EXPERIMENTS
It is imperative to strengthen and develop international cooperation between scientists from different institutes or universities which enables the sharing of knowledge, skills and techniques, the exchange of different points of view, and the cross-fertilization of ideas, while expanding university networks and improving the visibility of research work. Academic partnerships between different countries offer a multitude of possibilities to researchers, engineers and students. At the same time, it is also important to reduce international traffic for people, especially air transport, for reasons related to global warming with carbon dioxide emissions or to the possibility of virus circulation as recently demonstrated by the covid-19 pandemic. Some changes in the behavior of air passengers will be necessary in the future. Physicists and engineers who are members of major international collaborations will have to reduce the number of their short stays associated with the many trips back and forth between the countries involved in their projects.
This situation calls for the development of new tools to optimize international scientific cooperation. The French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Tokyo for the creation on April 1 2021 of an International Research Laboratory called the “International Laboratory for Astrophysics, Neutrino and Cosmology Experiments”, or simply ILANCE. The creation of ILANCE coincided perfectly with the start of new and important research physics programs in Japan, France and around the world, with a very great potential for first-rate discoveries. During the last decades, the teams of our new laboratory have been actively involved in very successful international programs.
The University of Tokyo’s Kashiwa Campus
The French philosopher, mathematician and scientist Blaise Pascal wondered in the 17th century about the special place of human beings in observing the universe that surrounds them. He ultimately noticed that the human being is placed halfway between the infinitely large and the infinitely small of our universe and wondered why. This metaphysical question on the “two infinities” is still relevant today. Research in physics regarding these two infinities is at the heart of ILANCE’s scientific program. It includes neutrino physics, cosmology, astrophysics, astroparticle physics, and particle physics. In search of new discoveries, these fields explore what the universe is made of, or was made of, and what its basic laws are on the smallest and largest scales. The history of our universe has been dominated by the intimate relationship between these domains since its earliest moments just under 15 billion years ago.
Over the next decade, foreseen experiences from these different fields have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the formation and evolution of the universe with participation from ILANCE teams. Strengthening existing collaborations over a long period for fundamental research in physics at the smallest and largest scales of our universe and developing new common research areas is the objective of ILANCE’s program. The international laboratory will also aim to promote interdisciplinary projects, in synergy between researchers in its different fields. Our international laboratory offers an exceptional new educational environment and research opportunities to French and Japanese doctoral students, post-docs and interns. ILANCE also encourages outreach activities both in Japan and France. Our laboratory is also an exceptional opportunity to find new funding in France, Japan and from the European Community for innovative research work allowing researchers from both countries to form new teams around a common project
An on-site laboratory in Japan, ILANCE brings together researchers, students, post-docs, engineers and technicians from CNRS and Japanese institutions. The laboratory is made up of French scientists for long-term stays in Japan and Japanese physicists. Individual research grants are awarded for postdoctoral stays or doctoral thesis. The laboratory will also aim to welcome and support French scientists for temporary stays in Japan. Based on the Kashiwa campus in the northeast of the city of Tokyo, the ILANCE laboratory permanently hosts scientists from many IN2P3 laboratories, one of the ten CNRS institutes, and from four departments of the University of Tokyo namely, ICRR, Kavli IPMU, ICEPP and the School of Science.