On October 6th, Iwate Prefectural University president Atsuto Suzuki lectured at Iwate Prefecture Mizusawa High School (principal Yasuhiko Ando, 722 students) in Mizusawa, Oshu City. Regarding the International Linear Collider, which is hoped to be brought to the Kitakami mountain site, Suzuki told the students “You will have the chance to be active in not just particle physics but in many other fields. I would definitely like you to get involved.”
The lecture was made possible because of the school’s designation by MEXT as a Super Science High School (SSH). The students listened intently to President Suzuki, is a leader in furthering the ILC project.
President Suzuki explained what particle physics is aiming for, that researching the smallest unit of matter, the elementary particle, is connected to solving the riddle of how the vast universe was born. Starting on October 5th, this year’s Nobel prize winners are being announced in succession: “Thirty-six people have been awarded in the field of particle physics so far, and out of those six people are Japanese,” noted Suzuki, explaining that Japan`s particle physics research is world class.
(Translator’s note: After this speech was given, Kajita Takaaki was announced as the seventh Japanese particle physicist Nobel Prize winner.)
“If the ILC comes to Tohoku, to Iwate, you can say that Japan will become more opened up to the world on a local level. You will have the chance to take part in many kinds of jobs, and not just in elementary particle physics,” emphasized Suzuki. He pointed out that “Even if we build modern buildings one after the other for the ILC, those won’t last for 40, 50 years. The ILC is a project that will continue for a hundred years. We need to sufficiently use the infrastructure that is already here and just add on what is lacking.”
In the lecture, Suzuki also explained that there was no need to worry about the ILC being reused as a deposit site for nuclear waste because of its structure and underground installation, and that there was a “Green ILC” movement to effectively utilize the heat produced during operation.
One question from the students was, “What is important to a researcher?” President Suzuki advised that “By completing tasks one after the other, even if you do have failures you’ll become more confident and feel accomplishment. There can be overnighters for tasks and research, so you should also try to be physically strong.