Amid rising concern over volcanic eruptions, institutions from Italy and Japan signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to strengthen their cooperative framework to promote research and technological innovation in the field of earth science using elementary particles.

On Nov. 12, an Italy-Japan bilateral workshop was held at the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo. Co-hosted by two Italian institutions — the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) — and the Earthquake Research Institute of the University of Tokyo (ERA), the workshop brought together researchers from both countries. Attendees listened to the keynote lecture "Alliance to Penetrate the Mysteries of the Deep Earth" by professor Paolo Strolin, deputy president of the INFN; and Hiroyuki Tanaka, professor of the Center for High Energy Particle Geophysics Research at the University of Tokyo, and discussed the issue afterward. There were also presentations by participating researchers.

Much like X-rays enable researchers to see inside the body, muons and neutrinos, which have much higher penetrating power, have given rise to new methods for investigating the interior of the Earth.