An infinite realm exists in what mankind doesn't yet know and has not yet achieved.

Teruo Hiruma, Chairman

Teruo Hiruma, Honorary Chairman

It wasn't until after the Meiji Restoration that Japanese first became aware of the civilizations of Europe and the U.S. The gap between what those civilizations were achieving and Japan's culture came as a great surprise and initiated concentrated efforts to bring many aspects of those civilizations and cultures inside Japan's own borders. None of us would deny the fact that the efforts of those predecessors gave rise to advanced industries that support the lifestyle we enjoy today. I'm beginning to have a feeling, however, that we're coming back to fundamental questions about whether bringing in other cultures to mix with ours was the right approach. Perhaps we've reached the point where, instead of absorbing knowledge from other sources, we need to begin creating new objects and items for ourselves. Ever since Hamamatsu Photonics was founded, we've been involved, in one way or another, in what is still unknown and what no one yet knows. Time and again, we've been approached by people asking us to create this or that, and we would all sit down at the plant and put our heads together. On occasion, that process gave rise to successful results. As we continued that approach, our achievement rate grew, and we began putting our ideas into product form. Those of us who have come through that process are now able to say, "An infinite realm exists in what mankind doesn't yet know and has not yet achieved."


What is light?

Why are photons the focus at Hamamatsu Photonics? We believe that light, and thus photonics, holds the key to creating new industries in the future.

Light is what nestles deeply into the atoms that make up matter, and makes it possible for matter to be what it is. Although its roots extend deeply into the origins of the world we live in, there's still much that we don't know about light. The knowledge that we gain in our quest for understanding will undoubtedly reveal, little by little, the "landscape" of our world in the most quintessential meaning of the word. In our pursuit of light, we at Hamamatsu Photonics are building a foothold for exploring what is still unknown to mankind, and for creating new industries for the future.


Light is the glue that holds matter together.

Photons nestle inside the electrons revolving around a nucleus (protons) and control the path of the electrons.

Atoms consist of a nucleus of protons and neutrons, with electrons revolving around that nucleus. Hydrogen atoms, to take just one example, have a nucleus that consists of a single proton. Protons are positive, while electrons are negative, so if the laws of nature are followed, the positive and negative will attract each other and the atom will collapse. What keeps that from happening in this case is the photons nestling within the atoms and controlling electron's path. Atoms are the basic unit that make up everything in the universe, and light is what makes it possible for them to maintain their form. Put differently, it's conceivable that controlling light would mean being able to recreate matter from its very roots, and might give us the ability to create entirely new forms of matter.


Light has both a wave nature and a particle nature.

When light narrowed down to the utmost limit is detected on a screen, it demonstrates particle-like behavior, but as the number of particles increases interference stripes begin to appear, showing that light also takes on the characteristics of waves.


Light spreads far beyond the visible range.

The light that we can see is visible light within a wavelength region of 0.4 to 0.7 micrometers. This region corresponds to the seven colors of the rainbow, and on the short wavelength side (the outside edge that is purple), we find ultraviolet rays, x-rays, and γ rays, while on the long wavelength side (the other outside edge that is red), we find near infrared rays, far infrared rays, and radio waves. A wide range of wavelength regions that mankind has never seen exist in light, and this is one reason that our knowledge of light is still so limited. Hamamatsu Photonics has developed a number of sensors capable of capturing light beyond the range of the naked eye, and these sensors provide an "eye" that gives people a glimpse into light beyond the visible range.



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