January 15, 20075

Report on the Invitation Fellowship Program for Research in Japan 2006

Following is a report on the current Invitation Fellowship Program for Research in Japan:

  1. Invitation Fellow
  2. Name: Dudley Robert Herschbach
    Post/Institution: Frank B. Baird Jr., Professor of Science, Harvard University
    Nationality: U.S.A.

  3. Visit Period
  4. 2 to 10 December 2006 ( 9 days)
    Including temporary absence from to ( days)

  5. Host Environment
  6. Lodging:
    Hotel Hankyu Expo Park

    Research lab:
    Kasai Lab (Reaction Dynamics), Department of Chemistry,
    Graduate School of Science, Osaka University

    Position at the host institution:
    Visiting professor at Osaka University

    Other special notes:

    At the International Workshop on Dynamics Control of Surface Reactions: Silicon and Related Materials jointly held by the Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University and Nippon Sheet Glass Foundation for Materials Science and Engineering at Osaka University Toyonaka Campus on 7 December 2006, Prof. Herschbach served as a guest advisor to the workshop executive committee.

    (*) Be sure to use either seal or signature.

  7. Schedule during Stay
    • Date
    • Destinations and Visit Details (research/discussions, lectures, observations, etc.)

    • 2 December 2006
    • Arrival at Kansai International Airport.
      Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.

    • 3 December 2006
    • Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.

    • 4 December 2006
    • Courtesy call to RIKEN (Wako Institute). Meeting with Ryoji Noyori (President) and Koji Kaya (Director of RIKEN Discovery Research Institute). After being provided with an observation tour of the institute by Toshinori Suzuki (Chief Scientist), gave a special lecture at RIKEN Seminar.

    • 5 December 2006
    • Courtesy call to JSPS. Meeting with Motoyuki Ono (President). Exchanged opinions regarding scientific education for high school students at the Overseas Fellowship Division.
      Returned to Osaka. Meeting with Shinichi Kotani (Dean of Graduate School of Science, Osaka University). Given the title of visiting professor.
      Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.

    • 6 December 2006
    • Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.
      Observation tour of SPring-8 (Harima). Meeting with Akira Kira (Director General of JASRI) and Junichiro Mizuki (Director of Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, JAEA).

    • 7 December 2006
    • Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.
      Participated in the International Workshop on Dynamics Control of Surface Reactions: Silicon and Related Materials (Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University) as a guest advisor.
      Courtesy call to the Administration Bureau, Osaka University. Meeting with Hideo Miyahara (President of Osaka University).
      Gave the special lecture sponsored by the university’ s 21st Century COE Program "The Creation of Integrated EcoChemistry."

    • 8 December 2006
    • Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.
      Observation tour of the Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University.
      Gave a lecture at Osaka Prefectural Sumiyoshi Senior High School.

    • 9 December 2006
    • Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.

    • 10 December 2006
    • Cooperative research at Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University.
      Departure from Kansai International Airport.

      (*) Be sure to include both the dates of arrival and departure from Japan.

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  8. Hosting and Resulting Achievements
    1. 1. Cooperative research: "New observations and control developments of the molecular orientation effects in chemical reactions"
    2. Professor Dudley Robert Herschbach and we carried out cooperative research on "New observations and control developments of the molecular orientation effects in chemical reactions" in Kasai Lab, Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University. We discussed the experimental results from the stereo-dynamic studies on the effects of molecular orientation during the dissociation and adsorption reaction of NO molecules on the Si (111) surface, which is a current topic of our lab. Based on this discussion, we further discussed how the molecular orientation effects in the NO/Si (111) surface reactions should be observed in a highly sensitive and orientationally selective manner. We came to the conclusion that orientation selection should be conducted for NO molecules at a high rotational quantum state. We, accordingly, newly designed and produced a hexapole electric field with a higher gradient than the one currently used.

      The second suggestion related to a new observation method, and we came to the conclusion that it would be more effective to use a photoelectron spectrometer with high-intensity radiation, instead of a commercially sold X-ray source, in order to collect information on the location of active sites of reaction products, such as SiN and SiO, that are chemically bonded to the surface. Professor Herschbach was the one who has not only developed molecular orientation methods in strong electric fields but also pioneered the studies of chemical reaction dynamics using the crossed molecular beam technique. Being able to exchange opinions directly with him has proven to be an extremely valuable and timely experience that will assist us significantly in furthering our stereo-dynamic studies. Therefore, we are very grateful to have been able to invite him as a fellow.

    3. 2. Academic exchanges and exchanges of opinions with domestic researchers and educators
    4. 2-1. Observation tour and special lecture at RIKEN
    5. Professor Herschbach made a courtesy call to RIKEN (Wako Institute), one of the well-known large-scale research institutions in Japan. He had a meeting with Ryoji Noyori, President of RIKEN, and Koji Kaya, Director of the Riken Discovery Research Institute, exchanging opinions on the trends in scientific research in Japan and the U.S. as well as the importance of fostering young researchers. After being provided with an observation tour of the institute by Toshinori Suzuki, Chief Scientist, Professor Herschbach gave a special lecture titled "Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads" at RIKEN Seminar. The lecture focused on one of the very important issues in society today: how the achievements and content of science and technology should contribute to and be reflected in society. He also touched upon what true scientific creativity is and the methods of expanding scientific education and science itself in society, warning us of the risks the widespread value ’ insignificance of science without applications’ may have.

    6. 2-2. Courtesy call to JSPS
    7. Professor Herschbach met with Motoyuki Ono, President of JSPS, and exchanged opinions with him on the future prospects and internationalization of scientific research support systems and scientific education. He also visited the Overseas Fellowship Division talking about the importance of scientific education for high school students and introduced efforts being made to bring about exchange among young researchers in Japan and the U.S.

    8. 2-3. Observation tour of SPring-8 (Harima)
    9. Professor Herschbach met with Akira Kira, Director General of the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), and Junichiro Mizuki, Director of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)’ s Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, exchanging opinions on the current use and social roles of large-scale synchrotron radiation facilities in Japan and the U.S. He was also provided with an observation tour of SPring-8 by Dr. Mizuki.

    10. 2-4. Participation in the International Workshop 2006 (Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University) as a guest advisor
    11. The International Workshop on "Dynamics Control of Surface Reactions: Silicon and Related Materials" was jointly held by the Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University and Nippon Sheet Glass Foundation for Materials Science and Engineering at the Osaka University Toyonaka Campus on 7 December. Professor Herschbach served as a guest advisor to the workshop executive committee. The workshop featured meaningful reports and discussions in relation to new material development and fundamental research centered on silicon and related materials.

    12. 2-5. Courtesy call to the Administration Bureau of Osaka University and meeting with Dr. Miyahara, President
    13. Professor Herschbach had a meeting and discussion with Hideo Miyahara, President of Osaka University. Amidst an exchange of opinions, he was provided with an explanation on the efforts being made by Osaka University for the internationalization of the education and research and in turn introduced examples of exchange between Japanese students and those at Harvard University.

    14. 2-6. Observation tour of the Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University
    15. Professor Herschbach was provided with an observation tour of Osaka University Institute of Laser Engineering. After being given an explanation on the progress of free electron laser development as well as briefed on the effects of laser technology development on society and related joint development with corporate entities, he discussed the importance of fundamental research having a profound impact on applied research both in Japan and the U.S.

    16. 3. Scientific education of young researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students and high school students
    17. 3-1. Special lecture sponsored by the university’ s 21st Century COE Program "The Creation of Integrated EcoChemistry"
    18. Professor Herschbach gave a special lecture titled "The Impossible Takes a Little Longer" for young researchers and university students in an event sponsored by the 21st Century COE (Center of Excellence) Program "The Creation of Integrated EcoChemistry." During the lecture, he shared his basic philosophy toward science he undertakes in his research and educational activities, pointing out how important it is to maintain an attitude of observing nature from the standpoint of being ’ forever a student’ through one’ s own experiences. In particular, he emphasized the great value of ’ curiosity-driven’ research in the real world and the profound relation between such science and art that is directly linked from human nature.

    19. 3-2. Lecture at Sumiyoshi Senior High School
    20. Professor Herschbach delivered a lecture titled "The Thirteenth Labor of Hercules" for first and second year students at Osaka Prefectural Sumiyoshi Senior High School, which has attained status as an international science high school. The lecture focused on the 13th labor of Hercules from Greek mythology fame, offering valuable insights for scientific education while illustrating the power of science. The story went that after the Mighty Hercules had completed the first 12 labors, he was given a 13th to obtain the mass of the earth’ s atmosphere. It was solved by a young student, Torricelli. His teacher was the well-known Galileo. And, the key point here was that even the accomplished Galileo had not had the answer to the question. In other words, education must not place the focus on mere teaching, but rather helping students excel above and beyond their teachers. Professor Herschbach used the question of the mass of the earth’ s atmosphere, or the concept of vacuum, to point out applications based on this concept in daily life and the contribution of those applications to the formation of modern civilization. I believe that the lecture instilled the students with a great interest in science and motivation to learn more in the future.

  9. Contribution of the Fellow to the Host Institution
    (Stimulation of Young Researchers, Internationalization of the Entire Host Institution, etc.)
  10. Osaka University is a prime example of a once-national university that has been privatized. There are some general trends that occur once a university is privatized. Noticeable developments are particularly seen in the field of natural sciences. For example, when evaluating research and educational activities conducted by universities, expectations have increasingly been placed on practical outcomes achieved in a relatively short period of time in a way that can be recognized by society. In other words, society no longer attaches importance to the development of human resources or creation of new values that had once been expected of universities, but it sees material and technological contributions to society essential. This is a true testament to the value ’ insignificance of science without applications’ largely held by society. When a university educates students and sends them off to work and society, a great deal of importance is placed on how immediately and how much they can contribute to their companies and society. To put it differently, scientific achievements in a material sense are regarded as contributions to society. The common thread in all three of the lectures delivered by Professor Herschbach during his stay was very likely an antithesis to the materialistic philosophy and tendency toward science being promoted through the measures enforced by today’ s governments.

    I feel the message that the professor was trying to convey was that we natural scientists and educators must return to the basics, true science or, in other words, ’ curiosity-driven science.’ Case in point, in the same way art can enrich the spirit of humankind, science must be performed primarily to raise the universal spirit of human beings to new heights. Some may perceive this as ’ science as a form of culture.’ The professor, however, may have been trying to convey a more fundamental message. We received a strong impression that he was attempting to tell us that universities must play a vital role in ’ curiosity-driven science.’ Therefore, it was very meaningful that his lectures as a visiting fellow were given at our Graduate School of Science. Furthermore, it was a valuable opportunity that his lecture was also delivered at a high school for tomorrow’ s young researchers. It was discussed on several occasions during the professor’ s stay that as we well know, scientific activities go beyond all racial and national borders and that the exploitation of them leads toward internationalization of universities.

    Therefore, the visiting fellow greatly contributed to the host institution and certainly provided a fine stimulus for young researchers including graduate and undergraduate students.

  11. Other
  12. The literature related to the three lectures given by Professor Herschbach during his stay as the visiting fellow and the poster for the special lecture "The Impossible Takes a Little Longer" delivered on 7 December at Osaka University have been included for reference purposes.

    1. 1. Michael Polanyi, "The Republic of Science: Its Political and Economic Theory," Minerva 1, 54 (1962).
    2. 2. F. Ashall, Remarkable Discoveries (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994).
    3. 3. S. Chandrasekhar, Beauty and the Quest for Beauty in Science, Physics Today 32, 25 (July, 1979).
    4. 4. J. Bronowski, Science and Human Values (Perennial Library, Harper & Row, 1972).