Research Activities

Research Center for Nuclear Physics (RCNP) is operated as a Joint Usage/Research Center “Research Center of Subatomic Sciences”. Scientific researches are conducted under the function of joint usage and joint research in cooperation with outside researchers over the world. Young researches are the key driving force of the scientific research. Many postdocs and graduate students are making frontier studies guided by experienced senior scientists. This page summarizes the main research activities at RCNP.



The nucleus of an atom, which consists of protons and neutrons, is a tiny object with a size of less than one hundred thousandth of that of the atom. As quantum many-body systems governed by the strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions, the atomic nuclei exhibit a variety of quantum phenomena, and thus offer an intriguing platform for basic scientific research. At the RCNP Cyclotron Facility, we investigate the structure and response of atomic nuclei, as well as the mechanism of nucleosynthesis by using light and heavy ions such as protons, alphas and 16O accelerated up to typically 20 to 70% of the speed of light.

Cyclotron Experiments


MuSIC is the DC muon beam facility in Japan, located at the RCNP, Osaka University. The MuSIC was designed to make various contributions to fundamental science such as elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, material science, and chemistry; and to a wide range of applications that include non-destructive element analysis and muon nuclear transmutation. The pion capture system is one of the major features of MuSIC. It provides the most efficient muon production rate to open a new era of the muon science.

Researches using High Intensity Muon Beam (MuSIC)


It is said that one of five people suffers from a cancer in one of ten people, 74 years old or younger in 65 years old or younger today. The cancer treatment is greatly divided it into, and there are surgery treatment (operation), medical therapy (including the anticancer agent treatment, hormone therapy), radiation therapy and other (including the therapy, thermotherapy of immunity). Our section researches and develops the boron neutron capture therapy which is one of the treatment using a radiation. A neutron is irradiated to the boron drug which was accumulated for a cancer from the outside and destroy a cancer cell by an alpha ray and a Li ion occurring by 10B(n,α)7Li reaction.

We research and develop the cancer medical treatment equipment with the neutron generator using smaller neutron generator in comparison with the accelerators such as cyclotron or LINAC and reactor, and further conventional BNCT. Besides, We develop the device which can inspect the degree of integration to cancer of the boron drug to use for treatment, and to accumulate to a cancer more effectively.


At the Laser-Electron Photon Facility, we have studied the quark-nuclear physics, aiming at the experimental elucidation of structures and interactions of quantum systems composed of quarks and gluons, which are called ‘hadrons’, with use of the high-energy and high-quality photon beam. The experiments have been performed at SPring-8 located in Nishi-Harima, which is the Large Synchrotron Radiation Facility with the world highest energy (8 GeV). We are conducting researches focusing on the search for new exotic hadrons like "particles consisting of five quarks (Penta-quark)" using the Laser-Electron Photon beam produced by the collision between laser light and electrons.

Laser-Electron Photon Experiments (LEPS/LEPS2)


Almost all substance of the universe is made of "matter". On the other hand, we know the existence of a partner called its "antimatter". Why does the universe mostly consist of "matter"? The one of the key points to solve the mystery is the lepton number violation that means "antimatter" and "matter" can convert to each other. The study of "neutrino-less double beta decay" will give a solution to the problem of "matter" and "antimatter". "Neutrino-less double beta decay", however, has not been decisively observed. The purpose of the CANDLES project is to study of "neutrino-less double beta decay".

Kamioka Double Beta Decay Experiments (CANDLES)


An ultra-high-quality and stable ion beam is an excellent microscopic probe to elucidate structure and reaction process of elementary particles and nuclei that are the roots of material. We study accelerator and beam physics for developing and upgrading high-performance cyclotrons and ion sources to provide the ultra-high-quality beam for a high-precision experiment in nuclear physics. The R&D of a next-generation accelerator and irradiation system is underway for applications to innovative cancer therapy and diagnostics by close cooperation among Graduate Schools of Medicine and Science, RCNP. Especially we aim to improve existing cyclotrons and ion sources for production of an intense high-quality beam, and to develop a new type of a cyclotron using high-temperature superconducting coils for RI production and particle cancer therapy.

Accelerator Research Group


Our aim is to understand the divers phenomena of strong interactions from quarks, baryons and nuclei to astrophysics phenomena. We are approaching these problems by using various methods of theoretical physics of quantum mechanics, relativity and field theory. Our method also uses the world top supercomputer Kei, which is provided to the collaboration use for researchers. In performing our research, we discuss and collaborate with many physicists from the world. We also discuss with experimentalists who are working at the RCNP cyclotron, SPring-8, KEK, RIKEN and J-PARC.

RCNP Theory Group


Under cooperation with KEK, RCNP conducts an international research collaboration on a spectroscopic study of excited charmed baryons, measuring their productions and decays by using high-intensity, high-momentum resolution, and high-momentum secondary meson beams in the Hadron Experimental Facility of J-PARC.

We could learn the dynamics of the effective degrees of freedom to form baryons through quark-quark correlations in a baryon, which can be disentangled by introducing a heavy, charm quark in the baryon. We will clarify a mechanism of how to form hadrons from quarks, which is the most fundamental question in the evolution of matter in the universe.

Charm-Hadron Study at J-PARC


RCNP offers both the M.S. and Ph.D. courses for graduate students as a cooperative facility of Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University. The students are educated for having deep knowledge on science as well as the ability of international cooperative works based on the experience on the frontier international scientific researches at RCNP.

Cooperative Chairs (education for graduate students)

RCNP is cooperating with Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University for education of graduate students through lectures and seminars.

Graduate School of Science, Osaka University
Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University

Entrance examination of the graduate school

Graduate students who belong to RCNP make scientific researches under supervision of RCNP professors and attend to lectures as a student of Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University. Choices can be made from the four groups: “Fundamental Nuclear Physics” in Toyonaka campus, “Particle and Nuclear Reactions”, “Accelerator Physics”, and “Quark Nuclear Physics Theory” in Suita campus, in the application of the examination of the graduate school.

Guide on the entrance examination of Graduate School of Science
Guide on the entrance examination of Department of Physics

Accelerator Beam Time for Education

RCNP accepts applications for accelerator beam time for education of undergraduate students. About 10% of the beam time is kept by the director of RCNP for this purpose. Applications may be sent to the director at all times.

10-1 Mihogaoka, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0047

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