In my opinion, science is valuable like arts or sports.



1.What kind of the research are you doing?

There are various materials having various properties. Why do they behave differently? I'm working to make it clear from microscopic point of view. By measuring atomic arrangement in 0.01 nm resolution, we learn the origin of the interesting properties of materials.

We use X-ray for such measurements. Synchrotron radiation generated from circular accelerator, whose diameter is about 100 m, is highly useful. I often visit large synchrotron facilities, Photon Factory at Tsukuba-city and SPring-8 in Hyogo prefecture, with my students to perform our experiments. Of course we have our x-ray diffractometer in our lab, which mimics the ones in synchrotron facilities. We sometimes do real research, do preliminary measurements, or train our students with our diffractometer.

Although our technique is limited to x-ray diffraction, we measure various kind of things instead. We have studied transition metal oxides showing interesting properties, but recently we studied the early process of the passivation of iron surfaces and the surface structure of organic semiconductors. Surfaces are interesting because they show many functionalities, such as chemical reactions as well as the transistor activities. We also develop new data analyzing softwares based on the information theory to derive surface structure of materials from surface x-ray diffraction data. We do various things to study physics based on the x-ray diffraction and scattering techniques.

2.What is the reason for starting your study?

I don't remember how I came to love physics. When I was a kid, I had so much interest on anything found in nature. I wondered why cloud forms such a typical shape, while they always change their form.

The reason why I started condensed matter physics was clear; All the research groups in the department of physics in my alma mater did condensed matter physics at that time. When I was an undergraduate student, I wanted to do physics, and was not finical on the area of physics, thus I entered in this field where I'm still working on.

In the course of my senior project, I found a phase transition even the chemist who synthesized the complex did not know. It was a good memory to seek a protractor in the midnight to measure the particular angle between the crystallographic axes in the new phase I just found in the lab.

3.Message for prospective students

Science, such as physics, does not improve our life directly. This is different from medical science or technology. It is sometimes said to be useful in hundreds of years later. In my opinion, science is valuable like arts or sports. Their value is independent of application. Physics changes your point of view on the world. I had different impression on the sunlight outside of the classroom just after the lecture where I learned the derivation of light from the fundamental equations of electromagnetism.