2nd WPI Joint Symposium @ Tsukuba
Professor Tanigaki told about the intriguing relationship between symmetry and material properties
“The properties of materials are greatly affected by the structure of the materials. In particular, significant changes are observed when the symmetry collapses,” explained Professor Tanigaki enthusiastically to approximately 600 participants as he raised various examples to illustrate his point. This talk was one of the sessions at the WPI 6 Institutes Joint Symposium, which is held annually at a WPI research center for the public (hosted by the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectronics (MANA), 24 November 2012, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) titled “Inspiring Insights into Pioneering Scientific Research”. At the symposium, six researchers from each of the WPI research centers introduced research based on various themes, such as materials, energy, life, and space. Professor Tanigaki, representing AIMR, spoke about designing materials with mathematics and geometry.
Participants listened with keen interest to his explanations about how the phenomena of superconductivity and thermoelectric conversion is related to symmetry. An exhibition of materials was also held in conjunction with the talk, at an exhibition booth set up at the side of the main hall. Here, visitors were able to see a superconductor called C60 fullerene, which has the same structure as that of a soccer ball, as well as a superhydrophobic material that resembles the structure of rose petals. At the end of his talk, Professor Tanigaki turned up at the booth and received many questions from the senior high school students. This event successfully gave participants a taste of the interesting world of materials. The next WPI Joint Symposium is scheduled for 14 December 2013, at Sendai City.
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