This project aims to develop innovative detectors based on superconductivity and expand technical areas around them. Our current focus is on the development of Superconducting Tunneling Junction (STJ) detectors and Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector (MKID). These detectors are expected to have a broad range of applications as photon detectors from millimeter waves to gamma rays with much higher sensitivity than semiconductor detectors. In particular, their detection capabilities of electromagnetic waves (very low energy photons) in the region from 30 GHz to 10THz enable us to make various innovative astrophysical observations which have been difficult thus far.
We mention two scientific topics closely related to this project.
- Polarization measurements of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
(CMB): CMB polarization measurements probe primordial gravitational waves generated in the inflation era. By observing and verifying the gravitational wave, we can make a leap towards revealing the mystery of the universe at its birth.
- Detection of photons from neutrino decays: Three types of neutrinos have different masses. A heavy neutrino may decay to a lighter neutrino and a photon with extremely long lifetime. Detection of this very low-energy photon will allow us to determine the absolute masses of the neutrinos.