Summary of the 1-day Workshop on Quantum Gravity
What is spacetime? In order to discuss this fundamental question, we held "1-day Workshop on Quantum Gravity" on July 4, 2019. The talk was very varied. First, Yokokura introduced a formulation of black holes as a configuration of quantum fields. Next, Prof. Izumi discussed the relation of S-matrix unitarity and renormalizability in higher-derivative theories. After lunch, Prof. Ho developed a general discussion of the relationship between dynamical horizon and negative energy. Prof. Yoneya began with the origin of Nambu dynamics and introduced an attempt to quantize it with a Hamilton-Jacobi method. Prof. Matsuo discussed M-theory and a mathematical structure behind it. Finally, Prof. Kawai developed a simple model of how the weak scale comes out of the Planck scale. In addition, there was more applications than expected, and the room was a little small. However, the discussion in the physically dense venue was very active as if a concert in a small venue had a stronger feeling of live, and it was a wonderful conference where the enthusiasm of the speakers could be felt directly. And the participants were in a wide range of fields such as elementary particles, relativity and mathematical physics, and over a very wide range of generations, including master's first grader and retired professor. In this way, it was also very meaningful that active discussions were conducted across fields and generations. Now is the time to study quantum gravity with free ideas.
Workshop on Sine-square deformation and related topics 2019
On July 11th, the workshop entitled "Sine-Square Deformation and related topics 2019," was held at RIKEN Wako Campus. Sine-square deformation (SSD) is a new type of boundary condition at which the coupling constant of the system is spatially modulated. Since its inception, SSD has been studied in various contexts including string theory, condensed matter physics, and quantum field theory. This workshop is the sequel to the workshop previously held at RIKEN two years ago. This time, virtually all the researchers who are actively contributing to the subject attended the workshop.
RIKEN-OIST mini Workshop 2019 "Mathematical Condensed Matter Physics" was held on July 5-6, 2019
From July 5 to July 6, RIKEN-OIST mini Workshop 2019, Mathematical Condensed Matter Physics, was held at OIST. We had three excellent lectures and three interesting talks. Prof. Shinobu Hikami gave a lecture about applications of random unitary theory to physics, Dr. Yuta Sekino explained the applications of operator product expansions to non-relativistic theories and Mr. Takuya Furusawa reviewed about dualities in three dimensions. In three talks, Dr. Hidehiko Shimada explained his recent progresses about the four point function in a non-relativistic theory, Dr. Wenliang Li explained recent progresses of conformal blocks, and Mr. Arkaprava Mukherjee reviewed his current achievement. The participants are grateful to the staff of OIST as well as to the iTHEMS assistants for the great help to organize the workshop.
SOKENDAI-iTHEMS Joint Workshop was held from July 7 to July 8
SOKENDAI-iTHEMS Joint Workshop "Genetics meets Mathematics" was held at Hayama, Kanagawa (close to SOKENDAI Hayama campus) from July 7 to July 8. This workshop brought together 36 participants, including 10 from RIKEN and 7 from SOKENDAI, of a wide variety of scientific background such as pure mathematicians, physicists, and biologists. There were lectures and talks on topics related to genetics and evolution given by biologists aimed at mathematicians and physicists without any background in biology, and those by mathematicians and physicists tackling biological problems. It was a very successful "interdisciplinary" event that provided many young mathematicians and physicists a unique opportunity to interact with biologists and vice-versa.
The Journalist in Residence Workshop 2019 was held from May 31 to June 3
From May 31 to June 3, Journalist in Residence Workshop 2019 was held at Tambara Institute of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Tokyo. As for the "Journalist in Residence (JIR)" program in Mathematics and the Journalist in Residence Workshop please look at iTHEMS Newsletter vol 10. This year, there were 11 journalists and 10 participants from RIKEN, 3 from universities and 6 from others. 8 iTHEMS members mainly explained their working field and recent important achievements to the nonspecialists. There were 25 talks in a variety of fields. They were very interesting but the schedule was a little tight. The discussion among the participants continued with joy until very late in the evening as usual. The participants are grateful to the staff of Tambara Institute as well as to the iTHEMS assistants for the great help to organize the workshop.
Introduction to Black Hole Shadow of M87 by Dr. Yosuke Mizuno
On 24 May (Fri.), Dr. Yosuke Mizuno (Frankfurt U.) visited iTHEMS and gave a 15min talk at iTHEMS coffee meeting. Dr. Yosuke Mizuno is a core member of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project to observe “Black Hole Shadow”. He is a core author of the paper V (theory part) of the first detection of the black hole shadow of M87, which was press-released in the world on 10 April, 2019. In the 15 min talk, Dr. Yosuke Mizuno explained why the black hole shadow is expected from Einstein’s Theory for General Relativity. He also introduced the angular resolution of EHT, which was expected to be smaller than angular size of the black hole shadow of M87. After great efforts of the EHT collaboration, finally the EHT collaboration succeeded to take images of the black hole shadow of M87. This was a big discovery, which confirmed the existence of a Black Hole (independently from gravitational waves), mass of the black hole of M87 (about 6 billion solar mass), and the theory of general relativity. For future works, he introduced some unsolved problems such as confirmation of rotation of the black hole of M87, mechanism of jet formation of M87, and possible correction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. After the talk, “endless” Q&A was followed between Dr. Yosuke Mizuno many iTHEMS members.
The First Coffee Meeting Talk in Reiwa Era (Dr.Nagisa Hiroshima)
The first 15 min. coffee meeting talk in Reiwa era was given by Nagisa Hiroshima on May 10. She explained how to extract the density distribution of dark matter from observation.
Tsukasa Tada, the coordinator of iTHEMS, has visited SUURI-COOL Berkeley, last week. During his stay, Tada gave a seminar at the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics, which is one of the best group dedicated to particle physics and string theory. He also enjoyed the reunion with three iTHEMS members stationed at Berkeley, Takashi Okada, Jason Chang, and Masahiro Nozaki. All of them were having a great time at Berkeley. We strongly encourage iTHEMS members to visit SUURI-COOL Berkeley and take advantage of the prestigious environment of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Virtual reality a huge success at RIKEN Open Day
At RIKEN’s Open Day, ABBL and iTHEMS members joined together to let residents of Wako (and beyond) explore astrophysics data using virtual reality. The demo, developed by Gilles Ferrand, had two major components. In one, visitors could watch as a supernova remnant expanded, compressing 500 years of evolution to just 10 seconds (and sweeping up the visitors if they were standing in the right spot!). In the second, guests could explore the chemical composition resulting from a thermonuclear explosion (a.k.a. Type Ia supernova), looking at how elements from carbon to iron formed complex structures; identifying similar structures in supernova remnants (hundreds or thousands of years later) may offer clues to how the supernovae occurred. Importantly, the demo was not just pretty pictures for the public to look at (though it certainly was pretty). The guests got to enjoy actual scientific data, which was published in real academic journals. And there was a lot of interest in the demo: about 160 people tried out the demo on two headsets. Many more tried to get tickets for a VR experience (Gilles’ conservative estimate is that 400-500 people visited the demo room; Don Warren’s more optimistic guess is more than 600). There is clearly an appetite for exciting visualizations of scientific data. If you want to explore the demo yourself, send Gilles or Don an email. Many people in ABBL and iTHEMS contributed to make the VR booth a success. If you want to join us and help make next year’s event even better, we welcome the support!
iTHEMS Starter Meeting for FY 2019 on April 12, 2019
In Japan, April is the time for a fresh start blessed by cherry blossoms. On April 12th, we held the annual iTHEMS Starter Meeting. It was an occasion for us to welcome new members. At the meeting, Program Director Hatsuda’s greeting was followed by one minutes self-introduction by the members present. We hope we have another fruitful fiscal year ahead. The slides used at the meeting including the self-introduction is available at the link shown below.
Fruitful Exchange Across the Disciplines: iTHEMS-AIMR Joint Workshop "Medicine meets Mathematics"
A truly interdisciplinary workshop was held at Tohoku University, as a joint workshop of iTHEMS and AIMR, Tohoku Univ. on March 29th. The workshop was veritably entitled “Medicine Meets Mathematics,” where about half the speakers were Medical doctors and the rest was mathematicians and theoretical physicists. At the workshop, lively discussions were taken place and a lot of fruitful exchange across the disciplines were made. The workshop was so successful that we are planning the next workshop in a larger scale.
RIKEN's community newsletter features Dr. Jason Chang at SUURI-COOL (Berkeley)
Jason Chang (iTHEMS Research Scientist in LBNL) was featured in the RIKEN's community newsletter, RIKENETIC. He talks about exciting challenges and opportunities in San Francisco Bay Area. Worth reading!
Congratulations on new positions, farewell message from Program Director of iTHEMS
This is the last volume of iTHEMS NewsLetter in FY2018. It is our great pleasure that iTHEMS has been so active during this fiscal year. Some of the members will leave iTHEMS. Keisuke Fujii (JSPS Research fellow (DC2)). Shun Furusawa (specially appointed assistant prof., Tokyo Univ. of Science) Masaru Hongo (specially appointed assistant prof., Keio Univ.) Motoko Kato (specially appointed assistant prof., Ehime Univ.) Masashi Tachikawa (associate prof., Kyoto Univ.), Ade Irma Suriajaya (specially appointed assistant prof., Kyushu Univ.). We congratulate them for new positions and look forward to their further success !
Article of Dr. Ade Irma Suriajaya on RIKEN Research “Making the most of zeros”
Article of Dr. Ade Irma Suriajaya has been posted on RIKEN Research. Please check out the interview on her research life !
The 2nd International Workshop in Vietnam ended successfully
"The 2nd International Workshop on Quantum Many-Body Problems in Particle, Nuclear, and Atomic Physics" was held on March 7-11, 2019 at University of Khanh Hoa (UKH), Nha Trang city, Vietnam. We had 25 talks during the workshop on various topics ranging from quarks, hadrons, nuclei and atoms to neutron stars. Also, public talks by Prof. Akito Arima (former president of RIKEN) on education and science management and by Dr. Nguyen Dinh Dang (RIKEN Nishina Center) on multilayer painting. There were lively discussions among the participants from Japan, Vietnam, India, China and USA. Because of the success of this 2nd meeting, the 3rd workshop in Vietnam is planned on 2021.
Summary of nuclear astrophysics workshop at Hokkaido University
Nuclear astrophysics workshop was held at Hokkaido University from 6th to 8th of March, 2019, under the support of iTHEMS as well as other institutions and centers. Major issues of this meeting are nuclear data and heavy-element synthesis. The meeting was very successful with around 60 researchers coming from various fields such as nuclear physics, particle physics, astronomy, astrophysics, astrochemistry, earth and planetary physics. Details of this workshop can be found at their offical web site.
The second in the series of the RIBF “Hodan-kai” meeting by the young researchers was held at Kobe campus of RIKEN, Integrated Innovation Building, from Feb.18 to 20, 2019. This meeting is aimed at an intensive discussion based on a pure curiosity such as what is interesting and what we want to do in the future in a frank and low-pressure atmosphere. In this meeting, there were 42 participants. We had stimulating talks (14 for invited and 11 for contributed) and discussions not only on the future of nuclear physics with RIBF but also on its related fields: Deep learning, Quantum computing, Computational physics, Weak measurement, Super-heavy elements, Hadron physics, and Laser physics. Following the success of this time, we are planning to hold the next meeting in February 2020, and welcome many young researchers to join.
The in-house gathering entitled iTHEMS NOW and NEXT was held on February 26th. This is the occasion we share current status and future perspectives on our research and organization. In the morning, keynote overview talks were given by Kubota, Fawcett, Kurosawa, Yokokura and Taki. Despite her busy schedule, one of our science advisors, Prof. Kotani managed to attend some talks. Another science advisor Prof. Mori also took time to connect through Skype from Kyoto and gave us some important advice. The afternoon session started with the panel discussion facilitated by Warren, and paneled by Chacha, Fawcett, Furusawa, Miyazaki and Y. Inoue. Both at the morning talks and the afternoon discussion, candid opinions were enthusiastically exchanged. After the panel discussion, three presentations on inter-organizational cooperation by Hatsuda, Nagataki, and Prof. Uchiyama from Rikkyo University. Everybody in attendance seemed happy to have the opportunity to express her/his opinion on iTHEMS organization. If you could not attend, you can still click the link shown below for your input.
Summary of RIKEN-Berkeley workshop on Quantum Information Science (RB19)
RIKEN-Berkeley workshop on Quantum Information Science was held at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (building 66) from Jan.26 through 29, 2019. The workshop was started with general introductions to LBNL, RIKEN, iTHEMS and Berkeley Quantum by Horst Simon, Motoko Kotani, Tetsuo Hatsuda and Jonathan Carter, respectively. Then we had stimulating talks and discussions on quantum computing, quantum materials and quantum sensing during the scientific sessions, followed by a panel discussion on the future collaborations between RIKEN and UCB/LBNL. We are going to explore further collaborations on the basis of the discussions of the workshop. The program and the presentation slides can be seen from the related links below. It should be remarked here that Jason Chang (iTHEMS Research Scientist) played essential roles to plan and organize the workshop, which is very much appreciated. Photos: Horst Simon (LBNL) Motoko Kotani (RIKEN) Tetsuo Hatsuda (iTHEMS) Jason Chang (iTHEMS/LBNL) Seigo Tarucha (Tokyo/RIKEN) Hidetoshi Nishimori (TIT)
New Year's Greetings from Program Director of iTHEMS
Happy New Year! It has passed more than 2 years since iTHEMS was started on Nov.1, 2016. Now, iTHEMS has almost 60 core members and 4 satellite offices in Kobe, Kyoto, Sendai and Berkeley as well as the main office in Wako. In the last few years, there is a growing interests in mathematical sciences in academia, industry and society. This is encouraging for us to explore further interdisciplinary interactions in science. I hope iTHEMS can continue to provide you with a good research environment, while you continue to provide iTHEMS with a good atmosphere.
Snapshot of a Discussion
iTHEMS members have discussions not only on natural science and mathematical science but also on social science and history. Here is a snapshot of a discussion on ancient history of China by Yongjia Huang and Hiro Nagataki at our common room 246-248 on Nov.30, 2018.
The RIKEN-NTU Workshop on Recent Developments of Chiral Matter and Topology
The RIKEN-NTU Workshop on Recent Developments of Chiral Matter and Topology was held at Centre for Theoretical Physics in National Taiwan Univ. (NTU). on Dec.6-9, 2018. There were about 80 participants both from particle/nuclear physics and condensed matter physics from Japan, Taiwan, China, and US. There were about 30 scientific talks with very stimulating discussions on chirality and topology from low-energies to high-energies. From RIKEN, A. Furusaki (CPR/CEMS), Y. Hidaka (RNC/iTHEMS), M. Hongo (iTHEMS), N. Nagaosa (CEMS), T. Ozawa (iTHEMS) and T. Hatsuda (iTHEMS) gave talks. The workshop was held in the new building "NTU Cosmology Hall" which was just completed at the north end of the NTU campus in Taipei.
iTHEMS-Kyushu WS - from particles and nuclei to cosmos -
On Nov.21-22, 2018, iTHEMS-Kyushu WS - from particles and nuclei to cosmos - was held at iTHEMS Kobe office (SUURI-COOL Kobe). About 20 researchers got together from iTHEMS and Kyushu Univ. to discuss various aspects of quantum many-body theory, quantum field theory and explosive astrophysical phenomena in a very relaxed atmosphere. We will continue to organize such intensive workshop between iTHEMS and Kyushu Univ. in various fields of mathematical sciences in the future.
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018
This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Frances H Arnold for “the directed evolution of enzymes”, and jointly to George P Smith and Gregory P Winter for “the phage display of peptides and antibodies”. A major goal in chemistry is to develop new proteins, such as enzymes or antibodies. A protein is typically a string of hundreds or thousands of amino acids linked together that fold up in three-dimensional structures. Because there are 20 kinds of amino acids, the possible number of proteins (i.e. combination of amino acids) one can design is astronomical, and most of them don’t work. Both studies succeeded in developing a method to develop proteins based on a similar principle. Instead of trying to logically design a particular protein based on existing knowledge, they adopted the principle of evolution. Basically, first, they create several new proteins by introducing random mutations to existing proteins. Next, they select the best performing proteins and then introduce a new round of random mutations to create several new proteins. After a few cycles, a new protein that is much more effective than the original one can be obtained. This principle is the same as in the evolutionary or genetic algorithms used in machine learning. Who knows, maybe there are other problems the principle of evolution can be applied to!?!?
Coffee Meeting on Oct.19
At the weekly coffee meeting on Oct.19(Fri.), Hiroki Kodama (AIMR/iTHEMS) gave a nice explanation on the properties of "flat functions" which often appear in mathematics and physics. He also told us an interesting story about the reference in the arXiv paper below.
Coffee Meeting on Oct. 5
At the weekly coffee meeting on Oct.5 (Fri.), we enjoyed lots of good sweets from all over the world after a nice 15 min. talk by Chacha san (iTHEMS) on "A unique pair of triangles".
The Black Coffee and Dr. Hawking
A short essay "Black coffee and Dr. Hawking" (in Japanese) by Yuki Yokokura (iTHEMS) was published in RIKEN News (vol.446, 2018). Similarity and difference between the black coffee and the black hole is explained in plain terms. Please enjoy!
iTHEMS Coffee Meeting is held on every Friday
iTHEMS Coffee Meeting is held on every Friday from 12:30- at our common room. From this fiscal year, we have changed the style of the short talk at the coffee meeting. The speaker will give a 15 min. talk only using blackboard without taking questions. The talk could be a scientific problem that the speaker is facing and wants to ask advise, an interdisciplinary scientific proposal that the speaker wants to form a collaboration, an elementary introduction to a particular topic or notion, etc. So far, this new attempt is working very well. For example, the speaker last week (Aug.24) was Gen Kurosawa who gave a talk “On the unsolved mystery of biological clock”. He posed unsolved questions on biological clock which induced lots of questions and discussions by the iTHEMS members after his talk. As usual, we have nice cookies and candies brought from all over the world by the iTHEMS members and coffee/tea/soft-drinks prepared by iTHEMS assistants. Thanks all for supporting the coffee meeting!
International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) held at Rio de Janeiro, Brasil on August 1 - 4
On the first day August 1, 2018 of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) held at Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, the Fields Medals were awarded to the following four mathematicians. Caucher Birkar: For the proof of the boundedness of Fano varieties and for contributions to the minimal model program. Alessio Figalli: For contributions to the theory of optimal transport and its applications in partial differential equations, metric geometry and probability. Peter Scholze: For transforming arithmetic algebraic geometry over p-adic fields through his introduction of perfectoid spaces, with application to Galois representations, and for the development of new cohomology theories. Akshay Venkatesh: For his synthesis of analytic number theory, homogeneous dynamics, topology, and representation theory, which has resolved long-standing problems in areas such as the equidistribution of arithmetic objects. At the same time, the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize was awarded to Constantinos Daskalakis: For transforming our understanding of the computational complexity of fundamental problems in markets, auctions, equilibria, and other economic structures. His work provides both efficient algorithms and limits on what can be performed efficiently in these domains. You might know that the Fields Medal of Caucher Birkar was stolen just after the celemony and he was given the medal again on August 4. On August 4, the Carl Friedrich Gauss Prize was awarded to David L. Donoho: For his fundamental contributions to the mathematical, statistical and computational analysis of important problems in signal processing. On August 4, the Chern Medal Award was given to Masaki Kashiwara (the photo above) : For his outstanding and foundational contributions to algebraic analysis and representation theory sustained over a period of almost 50 years. On August 9, Leelavati Prize 2018 was awarded to Ali Nesin: For his outstanding contributions towards increasing public awareness of mathematics in Turkey, in particular for his tireless work in creating the "Mathematical Village" as an exceptional, peaceful place for education, research and the exploration of mathematics for anyone. The 2018 ICM Emmy Noether Lecturer is Sung-Yung Alice Chang for her leading contributions to harmonic analysis, geometric analysis, differential geometry and partial differential equations. The lecture was given on August 3 and the award was given after the lecture.
A first joint meeting between iCeMS (Kyoto Univ.) and iTHEMS on interdisciplinary biology was held on July 4
On July 4, a first joint meeting between iCeMS (Kyoto Univ.) and iTHEMS on interdisciplinary biology was held at the 2nd floor of the Maskawa building in Kyoto Univ. After the welcome address by Prof. Shigefumi Mori (Director of KUIAS, Kyoto Univ. and the science advisor of iTHEMS) followed by the introductions to iCeMS and iTHEMS, there were 8 talks on experimental and theoretical studies on biology from both institutes. It turned out that all 8 talks were extremely interesting and stimulating for more than 40 participants from Kyoto Univ. and RIKEN. There were many questions and discussions during the talks and at the coffee breaks. We were very much excited about the fruitful interactions between experimentalists and theorists, so that we expect to have the 2nd joint workshop in the near future. All the slides can be seen from the workshop web page.
The Journalist in Residence Workshop was held from June 1 to June 4
From June 1 to June 4, Journalist in Residence Workshop was held at Tambara Institute of Mathematical Sciences of the University of Tokyo, located in a high-plain nature park 1,200 meters above sea level and 140 kilometers north of Tokyo. The "Journalist in Residence (JIR)" program in Mathematics started in 2010 with the support of the Mathematical Society of Japan. By the program, journalists in a broad sense stay at major math departments and institutes in Japan and talk to people (professors, students, visitors, librarians), attend seminars and conferences. The program aims to enhance the relationships between mathematicians and the general public. Then Journalist in Residence Workshop started in 2011 aiming to exchange information of JIR in different institutes among the participants as well as among host institutions. The workshop also fuctions as outreach of institutions. RIKEN iTHEMS began hosting this workshop from last year. This year, there were 10 journarists and 11 participants from RIKEN, 6 from universities and 3 from others. Young participants of RIKEN iTHEMS mainly explained their recent important achievements to the nonspecialists and matured participants explained thier experiences on academic journalism. The whether during the JIR workshop of this year was very nice and the participants hiked together around the Tambara marsh and the Tambara lake. The disscussion among the participants continued with joy until late in the evening.
iTHEMS participated RIKEN’s open-day on April 21
For the first time, iTHEMS participated RIKEN’s open-day last Saturday. Six researchers from iTHEMS gave short lectures for the public at our seminar room in Japanese. Those were: Tomoki Ozawa on Mathematics bridges classical and quantum physics; Jeffery Fawcett on deciphering the enigma of life; Yuki Yokokura on physics of black holes; Yoshiyuki Inoue on the observation of black holes; Takashi Okada on the network in life science; Masato Taki on Do AIs dream of electric sheep? The event was huge success. Every lecture attracted more audience than we can fit in the seminar room. Next year, we should do the lectures in a larger room. Thank you all the lecturers, especially Taki-san and Yokokura-san who arranged the event.
iTHEMS Starter Meeting for FY2018 on April 6, 2018
More than 50 researchers from various disciplines (biology, physics, astronomy, mathematics, information science, computational science) got together and self-introduced each other at the iTHEMS common room 246-248 on April 6 12:30-15:00. There were also participants from Kobe and Kyoto through internet. Great enthusiasm to interact with each other could be seen already in this starter meeting, which forecasts a bright future of iTHEMS!