On December 2nd, Professor Takehiko Saito (specialty: nuclear hadron physics; group leader at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany) started his traveling ILC science classes in Iwate at Morioka City’s #1 High School in Ueda. He will be in Iwate until the 7th, teaching elementary and middle school students about advanced science from an international perspective.
Around 90 students were in attendance. Prof. Saito talked animatedly about how scientists at the LIGO observatory in the United States observed gravitational waves emitted from the merger of two black holes, which netted them a Nobel Prize. Last year, they also observed the merger of neutron stars: “Scientists were able to figure out that these neutron star mergers are what create elements like gold and silver. This is also a Nobel-worthy finding.”
The national government is seen as getting close to a decision on the ILC, to which he asked the students, “If built, the ILC will push physics forward. Everyone here is inviting the world in, with the hope that the world will support the ILC. I also think you should understand the world yourself, by going outside of Japan at least once.”
Following the seminar, students gathered around the professor to ask him questions. Kotaro Yokkaichi, a second year students, said, “The ILC will need a home base where scientists will able to do their research to the fullest, and the ILC will be a huge stimulus to Japan.”
Prof. Saito started his ILC classes in 2012, and has given seminars at 143 schools, to a total of 15,000 students.