The Young Scientists' Prize goes to two School of Science members

  • School of Science Newsletter Editorial Committee

The Young Scientists' Prize presented by MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) was established aimed at contributing to improvements in domestic standards of science and technology by honoring the achievements of young scientists aged 41 or under who have made outstanding research achievements that show advanced research and development abilities accomplished from original perspectives. This year, Dr. Shuichi HIRAOKA (Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry) and Dr. Tetsufumi HIRANO (Lecturer, Department of Physics) have won The Young Scientists' Prize 2009.

In celebration of Dr. Hiraoka's winning the prize

  • Mitsuhiko SHIONOYA (Professor, Department of Chemistry)
Figure 1

Shuichi HIRAOKA, Associate Professor at Department of Chemistry

Shuichi HIRAOKA, associate professor at Department of Chemistry, has been awarded The Young Scientists' Prize 2009.

Previously, the following faculty members from the Department of Chemistry received the same Prize: Takeaki OZAWA (Professor at The University of Tokyo), Kentaro TANAKA (Professor at Nagoya University), Hiroyuki ISOBE (Professor at Tohoku University), Moritoshi SATO (Associate Professor at The University of Tokyo).

Dr. HIRAOKA has focused on dynamic behaviors of metal ions, and in order to control them he has been working on the creation of innovative molecules. Recently, the construction of nanomolecular devices has attracted attention over the years, for which a build-up method is used on the basis of chemical bond theory. Against this background, Dr. HIRAOKA accurately designed “disk-shaped multi-monodentate ligands” as novel molecules that can control dynamics of multiple metal ions. With a pioneer spirit, he has also developed mechanically-moving molecules and molecular capsules that change their structure and function remarkably. The feature of his research is that he develops molecules that have high-order functions by giving dynamics to many different kinds of self-assembling 3D structures. In addition to the above, Dr. HIRAOKA has developed titanium complexes that have dynamic traits and achieved the structure and dynamic control of heterogeneous multinuclear complexes. He was awarded the prize for a series of researches described above that had received a high evaluation.

Congratulations, Dr. HIRANO!

  • Tetsuo HATSUDA (Professor, Department of Physics)
Figure 2

Tetsufumi HIRANO, Lecturer at Department of Physics

Dr. Tetsufumi HIRANO, lecturer at Department of Physics, has received The Young Scientists' Prize 2009. Congratulations, Dr. HIRANO! He was awarded the prize for his research on “quark gluon plasma (QGP) based on relativistic hydrodynamics”. Since the beginning of this century, experiments to produce “quark gluon plasma (QGP)”, which is ultrahigh-temperature matter that has a temperature of over 1012K, have been conducted using the RHIC (Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in USA. As a result, jet quenching and elliptic flow have been discovered; jet quenching is a phenomenon that quarks with high momentum cause a huge energy loss inside high-temperature plasma and elliptic flow is a phenomenon that the particles produced by the non-central heavy-ion collision show collective behavior.

earch has revealed the possibility that high-temperature matter produced at RHIC behaves like ideal fluid, so that a new field of “strongly-coupled QGP” was opened up.

Experiments aimed to produce QGP with higher temperature are scheduled to be conducted using the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), which will be operated in full swing this year. Consequently, we expect Dr. HIRANO's theoretical research will achieve further development.