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Physics and Its Relation to Other Studies

The study of physics falls between abstract studies, such as mathematics, and practical studies, such as engineering, chemistry, biology, medicine, and earth and planetary sciences. The results of research in physics have been applied to other fields of study, and conversely the results of research in other fields have stimulated the development of physics. A historic example is the discoveries made from temperature measurements in blast-furnace engineering that became the source of quantum mechanics in physics. A more recent example might be the theory of relativity, which has lately been applied to GPS engineering, and is now used in our everyday life in the form of car navigation systems. Even in our department of physics, several joint research projects involving other disciplines are currently being conducted.

Research Fields in Department of Physics

Our Department of Physics has two courses; the "Physics Course" and the "Informatics Course".

Physics Course

Research activities in present day physics span all scales of the universe, from elementary particles to the universe itself. The scope of research in the "Physics Course" covers all such scales. In the field of elementary particles or nuclear physics, the focus is on the micro-scale; smaller than a nucleus. In the field of physics of matter, the focus is on a macro-scale; larger than an atom. In the field of astrophysics, the focus is on a cosmological scale. Researchers in the "Physics Course" study natural phenomena at various scales both experimentally and theoretically.

Informatics Course

Information in present day society is very important in all aspects of its generation, transmission, recognition, and control. In the "Informatics Course" information phenomena are studied on the basis of mathematics and physics.

Pursuit of Law in Universe, Nature, and Society

How was the universe created and how did it evolve? How was matter produced and developed in the universe? In the group of “Theory of elementary particle and nuclear physics and astrophysics”, such subjects are pursued at a world-class level.

The group of “Experimental Nuclear Physics” is being challenged to answer, for example, whether a star will finish its life in a dramatic supernova explosion or end its life quietly, becoming a white dwarf. For such study, full use is made of the only tandem type accelerator in Western Japan.

In the group of “Fundamental Material Physics” the behavior of electrons in solids, metals, semiconductors, magnets and so on, are investigated in multi-extreme conditions, high pressure, high magnetic fields, and at low temperature.

The group of “Condensed Matter Theory and Statistical Physics” studies the nature of macroscopic systems, such as condensed matters, dissipative systems, living organisms, etc. by means of statistical mechanics. Its challenge is to understand macroscopic phenomena based upon the microscopic physics laws.

The group of “Complex Matter Science” studies complex matters such as liquids、disordered matters, polymers, bio-molecules and colloids, and tries to clarify the relationships between complex structures and macroscopic physical properties.

The group of “Quantum Physical Science” studies such materials as dielectrics or superconductors, mostly focusing on their surface properties. The nature of electrons is investigated experimentally or theoretically on a nano-scale.

The group of “Informatics Course” studies information science from the viewpoint of the foundations of sciences and as the tools for sciences. Information science itself theoretically studies information, including data and phenomena in the real world that is the source of human intelligence and sense, as a fundamental science.


Undergraduate School

Physics is the most fundamental of the natural sciences and various courses are provided in our department. Lectures cover the basics of physics, such as Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Statistical Physics, and Quantum Mechanics as well as looking at the Frontiers of Physics. Students have the chance to study more specialized fields including Condensed Matter Physics, Atomic Physics, Nuclear Physics and Crystal Physics. The Department of Physics also provides an "Informatics Course" separated from the "Physics Course" mentioned above. In the "Informatics Course" students can study the fundamentals of computer science and informatics.

Graduate School

What are the basic principles that govern the world of nature? What are the basic elements that make up the materials of nature? How can the various characteristics of matter in our universe be explained in terms of basic principles and elements? How was the universe, including nature, created? In our department, we are carrying out research and teaching that answer basic questions related to the structure of nature and materials. The fields of physics cover Elementary Particle Physics, Astrophysics, Nuclear Physics, Fundamental Theory of Condensed Matters, Low Temperature Physics, Electronic Properties of Condensed Matters, and Complex Systems including Polymers and Liquids.

Research Groups

Theory of Elementary Particles
  • Hiroshi Suzuki, Professor
  • Ken-ichi Okumura, Assistant Professor
Our group studies various subjects in the frontiers of the theoretical elementary particle physics. These include: Non-perturbative methods in quantum field theory with higher symmetries, such as lattice QCD, lattice formulation of supersymmetric field theories, the conformal bootstrap method, and the complex Langevin method; Particle phenomenology on the basis of supersymmetry and the origin of the electroweak symmetry breaking and related cosmological problems; Low-energy effective description of QCD on the basis of low-energy degrees of freedom and its properties under Wilson’s renormalization group flow; Phenomenological and cosmological aspects of superstring theory and D-branes; Particle phenomenology on the basis of the extra dimension; The sphaleron and the leptogenesis in supersymmetric models. This list is still growing… The followings are some notable recent activities carried out in our group.
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Theory of Subatomic Physics and Astrophysics
  • Koji Harada, Professor
  • Yutaka Ookouchi, Associate Professor
  • Kentaro Kojima, Associate Professor
  • Shuichiro Tao, Assistant Professor
  • † Faculty of Arts and Science
Various aspects of theoretical subatomic physics and astrophysics (string theory, quantum field theory, unified theory, hadron physics, gravitational wave, supernova physics).
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Theoretical Nuclear Physics
  • Masanobu Yahiro, Professor
  • Yoshifumi R. Shimizu, Associate Professor
  • Takuma Matsumoto, Assistant Professor
Our group is making advanced research work on nuclear physics from theoretical point of view. Here the nucleus is a finite quantum-mechanical many-body system, which is composed of two kinds of elementary particles, protons and neutrons. We are also working on hadron physics, where the quarks and gluons are basic ingredients and they are govern by the fundamental theory of strong interaction, quantum chromodynamics (QCD).
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Theoretical Astrophysics
  • Masa-aki Hashimoto, Professor
  • Mami Machida, Assistant Professor
Theoretical Astrophysics group is a part of the department of physics, particle physics group of Kyushu University. We have been carrying astrophysics research since 1998. We conduct research in a wide range of topics including stellar evolution, supernova explosions, nucleo-synthesis, cosmology, accretion disks, astrophysical jets etc.... You can find more information about our research, teaching and outreach activities, visiting our home page. Seminars and Colloquium are scheduled here and all you are welcome to join with us. We highly appreciate your comments and participation.
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Experimental Particle Physics
  • Kiyotomo Kawagoe, Professor
  • Junji Tojo, Associate Professor
  • Tamaki Yoshioka, Associate Professor
  • Susumu Oda, Assistant Professor
  • Taikan Suehara, Assistant Professor
  • Hidetoshi Otono, Assistant Professor
Our group is conducting experimental research projects using state-of-the-art accelerators for understanding of the fundamental law of the universe. Our current projects are as follows:
  1. The ATLAS experiment at the LHC
  2. The International Linear Collider project
  3. Particle physics experiments using highly intense muon beams at J-PARC
  4. Fundamental physics experiments using low energy neutrons at J-PARC
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Experimental Nuclear Physics
  • Kosuke Morita, Professor
  • Takashi Teranishi, Associate Professor
  • Tomotsugu Wakasa, Associate Professor
  • Kunihiro Fujita, Assistant Professor
  • Satoshi Sakaguchi, Assistant Professor
Our group studies nucleon and hadron many body systems experimentally. Accelerators in Kyushu University and in RIKEN and RCNP are used. Current research topics are as follows:
  1. Search for new superheavy element. Spectroscopic and chemical studies of the nuclei of the heaviest elements.
  2. Spin-isospin responses and nuclear medium effects in stable and unstable nuclei.
  3. Spectroscopy of neutron-rich or proton-rich unstable nuclei.
  4. Low-energy nuclear physics. Technical developments using Kyushu Tandem accelerator.
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Condensed Matter Theory
  • Jun-ichi Fukuda, Professor
  • Jun Matsui, Lecturer
Research topic in our group is various phenomena observed in nonequilibrium systems, complex systems and disordered systems. We investigate these phenomena by use of theories based on statistical mechanics and computer simulations. During recent years, we work on unified theory of the glass transition mainly, and we also study a lot of other topics in the statistical physics. Furthermore, we investigate several fundamental problems in the statistical physics through theoretical studies on chemical phenomena.
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Statistical Physics
  • Hiizu Nakanish, Professor
  • Kiyohide Nomura, Associate Professor
  • Takahiro Sakaue, Assistant Professor
Our group studies equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical physics theoretically on various systems. Recent research topics include granular media, polymer physics, stochastic processes, bio-physics, low-dimensional quantum systems, application of quantum field theory on statistical physics.
  1. Shear thickening in granular-fluid mixture
  2. Non-equilibrium dynamics of single polymers
  3. Statistical mechanics of ring polymer solutions
  4. Electro-rheological effect in binary fluids
  5. Low dimensional quantum systems
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Surface Physics and Many-Body Physics
  • Hiroshi Kawai, Associate Professor
  • Osamu Narikiyo, Associate Professor
Our group studies dynamical systems theoretically. One focus is the solid state surface with multiple symmetries. Another focus is the strongly correlated electron system. Current research topics are as follows:
  1. The vibration of the dimer on Si(001) surface
  2. Critical slowing down on Ge(001) surface
  3. Hall effect in the normal state of high-Tc superconductors.
  4. Ward identities for thermal transport phenomena.
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Physics of Magnetism
  • Hirofumi Wada, Professor
  • Akihiro Mitsuda, Associate Professor
Our group studies magnetic properties of metallic materials (alloys and compounds) from both fundamental and applied aspects of physics. Current research topics are as follows:
  1. Magnetocaloric effect of first-order magnetic transition systems.
  2. High-field transport properties of itinerant electron metamagnetism.
  3. Valence instability of 4f electron systems.
  4. Exotic phase transitions of superconducting systems.
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Quantum Nanophysics
  • Yukio Watanabe, Professor
  • Takeshi Arai, Assistant Professor
  1. Nanoscale understanding of electronic state and conduction in insulators and their impact on ferroelectrics. For this, we use UHV including UHV-SPM with standard measurements, FEM analysis and DFT, and propose theories.
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  2. Our group studies thermal conductivity by thermal phonons at very low temperature in non-periodical systems experimentally. At very low temperature, mean free path and wave length of thermal phonons become longer comparative with characteristic lengths of artificial structures. Experimental studies of thermal phonon behaviors in non-traditional systems are possible. For example, the localization of phonons is expected in quasi-periodic structure such as Penrose tiling [Fig.1] and it makes thermal insulation in cryogenics at very low temperature. Other target is non-reciprocal systems, Ratchet effect is expected [Fig.2]. It is useful for normal-insulator-superconductor tunnel junction refrigerator.
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Solid State Physics
  • Takashi Kimura, Professor
  • Kohei Ohnishi, Assistant Professor
  • Kazumasa Yamada, Assistant Professor
We are interested in electron-transport phenomena in nano-scale systems composed of different types of functional materials such as ferro- and antiferro-magnetic materials, superconductor, normal metal and insulator. Especially, we focus significantly on the influence of electron spin in the transports, so called spin-dependent transports. Moreover, understanding and manipulating the dynamical motions of spin is also important research subject. The specific example of the research subject is as follows.
  1. Understanding electrically and thermally driven spin-current transports
  2. Interplay between spin-polarized electron and cooper pair
  3. Nonlinear motion of nano-scale spin dynamics in patterned ferromagnetic film
  4. Development of novel nanoelectric devices such as spin memristor and spin filter
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Optical Condensed Matter Physics
  • Takuya Satoh, Associate Professor
Our group studies experimentally the interaction of light with magnetic/dielectric materials. In particular, we are interested in ultrafast and coherent control of magnetism by use of temporally and spatially shaped femtosecond light pulses, and understanding of the mechanisms. Current research topics are as follows:
  1. Terahertz Spintronics
  2. Opto-Magnonics
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Low Dimensional Electron System
  • Hideki Yayama, Professor
Our group studies the following topics.
  1. Electrical properties of two-, one-, and zero-dimensional electron system on liquid helium.
  2. Novel cryogenic technologies.
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Physics of Complex Systems
  • Yasuyuki Kimura, Professor
  • Daisuke Mizuno, Associate Professor
  • Shio Inagaki, Associate Professor
  • Takayuki Ariga, Research Associate Professor
  • Yasuyuki Iwashita, Assistant Professor
We are the experimental research group that investigates Non-equilibrium Physics of “soft materials” (e.g. colloids, polymers and liquid crystals). Much of the diversity in nature depends on the complex hierarchical ordering of these soft materials and their slow cooperative dynamics, that are the focus of our study. Dynamic self-assembly of soft materials, for instance, creates exquisite structures in living organisms that are under constant activation by their own metabolism. We investigate such nonequilibrium processes that obviously do not obey the statistics of thermodynamic equilibrium, by developing novel state-of-the-art experimental and theoretical techniques.
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Complex Fluids
  • Masayuki Tokita, Professor
  • Yusuke T. Maeda, Associate Professor
Lab. of complex fluids studies non-equilibrium and nonlinear dynamics involved in biological systems from experiment and theoretical approaches. The goal of our laboratory is to bring novel understandings of physics of collective systems far from equilibrium. Primary efforts are focused in projects listed below:
  1. Fluid dynamics and transport phenomenon out of equilibrium
  2. Collective behaviors of active matters
  3. Biophysics of artificial cell assembly
  4. Critical phenomenon of gels and surfactants
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