Prizes & Awards

Yuki Kawaguchi receives the Inoue Research Award

  • Masahito Ueda (Professor, Department of Physics)
Figure 1

Yuki Kawaguchi
(Research Associate, Department of Physics)

Yuki Kawaguchi, research associate at the Department of Physics, was awarded the 4th Inoue Science Research Award for the study of quantum many-body effects in a spinor BEC. The Inoue Science Research Award aims to support promising young scientists who have made outstanding achievements in fundamental research, and Kawaguchi is the first researcher at the School to have received this award.

Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC), which is an atomic gas and Kawaguchi's research subject, was first created in 1995 by using laser cooling technology. Interactions between atoms are usually inherent in each atom, but they can be controlled freely in a laser-cooled system, which makes them ideal macroscopic quantum matter for fundamental research. In particular, unlike the ordinary BEC, in the fragmented BEC that can be created in a mesoscopic system, the macroscopic number of atoms becomes condensed into multiple one-particle states. As a result, a non-trivial condensation state is created.

Kawaguchi focused her attention on the fact that symmetry breaking/restoration, the so-called emergence and decay of the fragment BEC, can be controlled freely by changing the size of systems continuously from a macroscopic system to a mesoscopic system. She is currently working on research that clarifies the dynamics of spontaneous symmetry breaking/restoration that is caused by quantum/thermal fluctuations. This kind of research on dynamics is expected to have a ripple effect throughout the spontaneously broken symmetry systems, ranging from astrophysics, high energy physics to superconductivity/superfluidity.