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Director's Message

April, 2020
Director Hatsumi MORI

The Institute for Solid State Physics (ISSP) was established in 1957 as a joint-use research institute attached to the University of Tokyo and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2017. In every era, with the support of the science community, we aim to lead the frontier of condensed matter physics and materials science and contribute to science and technology from the view of basic research. We have promoted activities focused on research, education, and joint-use/joint-research.

In the first 23 years (Phase I: 1957-1979), ISSP established 20 departments (22 later) in the fields of physics, chemistry, and engineering. We constructed advanced facilities and contributed to the improvement of condensed matter science in our country. In the next 16 years (Phase II: 1980-1995), in view of "concentration" and "mobility" of research in condensed matter science, large-scale facilities and advanced equipment for extreme conditions in the areas of ultrahigh magnetic fields, high power lasers, surface science, ultra-low temperatures, and very high pressures were constructed and shared with the community through joint use and joint research. We have promoted collaborative researches in the development of advanced materials, measurement technologies, and theoretical physics. The third era for ISSP (Phase III: 1996 - present) bought a move to the Kashiwa campus in 2000 and gave ISSP a chance to expand and to develop new research activities, aimed at pursuing new frontiers and becoming an international center of excellence in condensed matter physics and materials science.

The condensed matter physics and materials science studies have three axes: (1) a conceptual axis (Design), (2) a materials axis (Synthesis), and (3) an investigation method axis (Characterization). These three axes interact in what we call a DSC cycle to promote a positive spiral. This institute is organized around 40 laboratories with small-, and medium-to-large-scale equipment and facilities. The labs were originally divided between four divisions for condensed matter science, condensed matter theory, nanoscale science, and social cooperation programs. More recently, we have added three facilities and two centers: the material design and characterization lab., the neutron science lab., the international MegaGauss science lab., the center of computational materials science, and the laser and synchrotron research center (LASOR). All laps work together to maintain the DSC cycle.

In 2017, two new interdisciplinary groups, the Quantum Materials Group and the Functional Materials Group, were formed to cultivate new frontiers beyond the framework of traditional disciplines. In the quantum materials group, we aim to discover new quantum phenomena and new concepts with novel materials by developing research of strongly correlated electron systems. The functional materials group is targeting complicated and hierarchical materials and systems such as soft matter, including biological materials and energy systems where dynamics and excited states of matter are studied. In 2020, the activities of the Quantum Materials Group have developed to establish the interdisciplinary Institute, “Trans-scale Quantum Science Institute” (Graduate School of Science, The Institute for Solid State Physics, Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, Research Center for Low Temperature Science). In this way, we aim to create novel inter-disciplines based on two groups.

Moreover, we provide international opportunities in collaboration with domestic and overseas researchers to develop science and next generation human resources.

We continue to lead the frontiers of condensed matter physics and materials science in the ISSP spirit and are devoted to developing as a global center of excellence. We appreciate your continuous support and cooperation in our activities.