Science Talk (2023)

This page contains information from JSSF 2023. It will be updated in early summer 2024 for JSSF 2024.

We would like to express our appreciation to the scientists that gave interesting talks in their respective fields of science at JSSF 2023.

Treasure box “micromachine” packed with science and technology

Dr. Satoshi Konishi

Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University

Micromachines are small machines. Sensors in cellphones and automobiles are typical micromachines. You can integrate electronics and mechanics into a micromachine. Mechanical strain caused by acceleration is detected by a sensor and signal-processed by integrated circuits. Actuators are also attractive micromachines that can generate motion. Our group studies a microrobot driven by micro artificial muscle. Recently, a microfingers robot met a small insect using augmented reality. Moreover, a micromachine can serve as a small biochemistry laboratory on itself. Cells are cultured and biochemical reactions processed on the micromachine. Let's open the interdisciplinary treasure box “micromachine” packed with electronics, machines, chemistry, biology, and so on.

Higgs Origins of Particle Masses

Dr. Roger Wendell

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University

Moving through the world we feel our mass continuously via the pull of Earth's gravity. Surely that mass is the sum of the masses of all of our body's constituents, but zooming in from cells to molecules to atoms to nuclei we arrive at the smallest known units: elementary particles, such as electrons and quarks. Despite their minute size most such particles do have masses and despite them all being elementary, the different particles have different masses. The origins of these masses and indeed the explanation for those differences lies in something called the Higgs mechanism, an idea that has existed since the 1960's but was only recently confirmed in 2012. In this presentation we will discuss the world of elementary particles, their interactions, and the unexpectedly important role of this Higgs mechanism in their masses and our lives.

Ring worlds showing the birth and the death of stars - not Death Stars

Dr. Saeko S. Hayashi

National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Have you seen in a recent news a donuts shape feature observed by a telescope? Donuts in different cultures have different shapes. Here, this “donuts” in the sky refer ringed features, such as the icy rings around planets in the Solar System, or rather fluffy ones around baby stars, or halo like rings created by photos around a black hole. Many of these images are taken by devices sensitive to the radiation or the wave outside of the human sense.

To study those elusive objects, researchers from around the world work together at the telescopes, or collaborate with other telescopes. The Universe is big (and expanding) and mysterious. These ringed objects demand our collective effort to decipher the mysteries of how they are formed and evolved. The saga continues to the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Introduction to atmospheric science and chemistry-Behaviors of nitrogen compounds in the atmosphere in Japan, Vietnam, and Antarctica-

Dr. Norimichi Takenaka

Professor, Graduate School of Sustainable System Sciences, Osaka Metropolitan University 

First, an overview of the movement and physics (weather) of the Earth's atmosphere will be explained. How and why the atmosphere moves, and what phenomena occur due to this movement. Furthermore, other phenomena occurring in the laboratory and around us will be shown. Then, the general atmospheric chemistry will be explained. Trace amounts of substances play important role in the atmospheric chemistry, especially nitrogen oxide and ammonia are very important. Finally, concentrations and chemistry of nitrous acid (HONO), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric acid (HNO3) in the atmosphere in Osaka, Japan, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and Antarctica. The atmosphere in Ho Chi Minh is very special compared to those in Japan and developing countries. In Antarctica, behavior of HNO3 will be explained, and very unusual phenomenon was observed. Furthermore, I will show that the hole in the Antarctica is blue and explain the reason and possibility of future research.