Colleges of Arts & Sciences to Host Public Lecture Featuring World Renowned Physicist Hirotaka Sugawara

Sugawara is the Dai Ho Chun Distinguished Chair in Arts & Sciences at UH Manoa

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Karin Mackenzie, (808) 956-4051
Colleges of Arts & Sciences
Tamara Goldbogen, (808) 956-5790
Colleges of Arts & Sciences
Posted: Nov 4, 2003

The Colleges of Arts & Sciences of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa presents a public lecture by internationally renowned physicist Hirotaka Sugawara on Thursday, November 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Yukiyoshi Room, Krauss Hall. His illustrated lecture titled "Eliminating Nuclear Bombs with Neutrino Beams" will address the possibilities of a system that utilizes neutrino beams to locate and destroy nuclear weapons as a means to enforce worldwide nuclear disarmament.

Twentieth century physicists produced the most powerful weapons on earth, nuclear bombs, towards the end of World War II. In the last half century, the number of countries which possess nuclear weapons has slowly increased. Moreover, the number of countries which will have nuclear weapons in the near future is expected to continue increasing in spite of the existence of the Non-Proliferation Treaty for Nuclear Weapons. Arms control negotiations are important at least for temporary stability of the world arms situation. However, many people feel there is no guarantee that long-lasting peace on earth can be negotiated with so many nuclear weapons in existence all around the world.

Hirotaka will discuss a rather futuristic, but not necessarily impossible, technology involving neutrino beams of high energy. Such neutrino beams traveling through the earth to a targeted location could be employed to cause weapon meltdown and possible low level explosion anywhere on (or under) earth. The existence of such a system would thus expose the possessors of nuclear weapons to extreme risk. The concept of such a system may thus point the way towards a remote means for world enforcement of a negotiated and stable nuclear disarmament.

Sugawara received his doctorate from the University of Tokyo in 1964, and has held positions at Cornell University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, and Tsukuba University. In 1974, he joined KEK (Japanese National Accelerator Laboratory), where he served as Director General from 1989-2003.

Sugawara has received numerous prestigious awards including the Medal with Purple Ribbon, the Nishina Memorial Award, and the Toray Science and Technology Prize. Chair of the International Committee on Future Accelerators for four years, Sugawara also serves on the Mombusho Council for Research, as well as other science councils in Japan, and has published many papers in theoretical elementary particle physics.

Sugawara joined the UH Mānoa faculty in April 2003 as the Dai Ho Chun Distinguished Chair in Arts & Sciences. The Chair honors the memory of visionary University of Hawaiʻi educator Dai Ho Chun, whose generosity made this faculty position possible.

For more information about the lecture, contact Tamara Goldbogen in the Colleges of Art & Sciences, Office of Community and Alumni Relations, at (808) 956-5790.