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Establishment of the "International Virtual Muography Institute-VMI

posted Nov 17, 2016, 11:13 PM by Alberto Mengoni   [ updated Nov 17, 2016, 11:17 PM ]
After the elementary particle called the muon was discovered in 1936, muography, a novel technique utilizing this particle was developed; in the early 21st century, its technological effectiveness was proven by successfully creating the first visualization of the internal structure of Asama volcano.
Since this successful demonstration, muography has been applied to targets worldwide, and has also visualized the reactor core of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, underground ore bodies, and more recently the Egyptian pyramid.
Considering the fact that there have been so many international multidisciplinary muographic applications, there has been a desire to establish an international framework to connect recent cutting edge, internationally-focused research activities to its applications seamlessly.

In conjunction with the bilateral cooperation agreements made between Italy and Japan, both countries where numerous volcanoes exist, the International Virtual Muography Institute-VMI has been launched in November 8, 2016, which will enable global education, developments, and applications of muography to flourish. This international platform will accelerate the development of muography, and thus reductions of the costs, weight, size of the apparatus, which in turn will open the possibilities of more commercial uses of muogaphy.
Muography also has the potential to create a new pathway in visual communication similar to how developments in perspective drawing effected the art and science of the Renaissance. VMI will offer research, development and education opportunities that reach beyond the usual boundaries between science and the humanities.

The same day of VMI's establishment, a Letter of Intent for an Agreement between Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica and Earthquake Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, has been signed at the presence of H.E. Ambassador Domenico Giorgi.
This new interdisciplinary collaboration with astrophysics is a prerequisite step as we work towards the development of a practical tool for volcano eruption prediction.
In particular, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica will strengthen existing volcano muography capabilities with a high-energy gamma-ray telescope called "SST-2M" in Etna. This agreement will generate a synergistic effect for both of the institutions, and with this cooperation it is expected that muography observation technology will evolve.