A Challenge to the Recovery -KINKEN Today-

In this web site, recovery from the disaster –“Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake(March 11, 2011)- is reported.

Message from Prof. M. Niinomi, Director of IMR

Prof. M. Niinomi,
Director of IMR

We would like to convey our deepest sympathies to everyone especially those who have still hard time to recover from the disaster caused by the earthquake, tsunami, and all problems related to the radiation leak in Fukushima.      We are pleased to announce that a lot of our machines damaged by the earthquake have been fixed and we have kept putting our best effort to make rapid progress for early recovery. I am proud that all staffs at IMR worked very hard to recover from the damages by the earthquake as a team and never forgot the words from Professor Kotaro Honda, founder of KINKEN, as KINKEN spirit, “The time where we live now is the most important,” and “ Do not give up.” As a result, we would like to announce that IMR is truly fine and all staffs at IMR are strongly motivated to go forward to accomplish our tasks.
We experienced and survived from this unprecedented tragedy, which most of the organizations have never experienced. As a result, based on what we have learned from this disaster, we believe that we can bring our society new great subjects of our research themes which might help to build safer and reliable sustainable society for our future in the world. In addition, we keep doing our best to go forward and also brig our best to our society. We would greatly appreciate it if you could continue to support and encourage us.

Prof. Mitsuo Niinomi, Director of IMR

Collaborative research

Collaborative research in IMR (Research Divisions and Centers) is running normally by using the web application system (http://imr-kyodo.imr.tohoku.ac.jp/application/). Please consult each Research Center on the current information about the operation.

Message to KINKEN

vol.19(Jul. 15, 2011)

Prof. Sasaki (Low Temperature Condensed State Physics Div., KINKEN) and I are members of Prof. Iwai’s CREST group, and I enjoy collaborative research with the colleagues of our group. I have visited KINKEN to attend the meeting of our group on June 16-17.
 I was born in Sendai, and have lived in Sendai until I had graduated a senior high school. My parents are living in Sendai now. For the two days after the earthquake, I lost contact with my parents, and these two days were tough to me. All my relatives have survived the earthquake, but some of them lost their houses. Some of the places associated with my happy childhood and school days have been seriously damaged by the tsunami. I could not remain calm for some weeks after the earthquake.
 Prof. Sasaki and Prof. Iwai (Department of Physics, Tohoku Univ.) talked about the damages of their experimental machines and buildings at the meeting, and what were talked there were beyond my thought. In spite of the serious damages, I found that they are now challenging new subjects actively. I was impressed about the best efforts of the members in their groups. I enjoyed the discussion at the meeting and also after-meeting party. I would like to thank my colleagues in the stricken area for not missing this every year’s enjoyment.

Akira Takahashi
Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology

vol.18(Jul. 11, 2011)

 I was in charge of Division of Low Temperature Condensed State Physics from 2001 to 2009. The earthquake disaster killed my heart and has kept me wondering about IMR. However, we were able to know, through the IMR webpage, that IMR started to take an action to recover to the normal state amazingly quickly, the first among all departments and institutes in Tohoku University. This was extremely encouraging and I believe that the quick recovery of IMR gave a huge impact in our community. In the meantime, a gorgeous advertisement of the 81th KINKEN Summer School was delivered, followed by a new issue of IMR News, KINKEN, and even the webpage was renewed very recently. There are eloquently informing people of the current status of IMR which is not recovering any more but proceeding their stepr toward new future. We were able to know, from the IMR News, the curry serving right after the quake as well as the morning meetings held every day, which are telling the tense situation. Needless to say, in such an occasion of the crisis, the decision making of the leader and the prompt action of the surrounding people are of critical importance. I appreciate the leadership of Director, Prof. Niinomi and all IMR members. I am thinking that I should learn in the future, on the unexpectedly emerged KINKEN spirit, and many successful and unsuccessful attempts which were taken in this crisis.

Yoshihiro Iwasa
Quantum-Phase Electronics Center, University of Tokyo

vol.17(Jul. 7, 2011)

 I began my appointment as a visiting Associate Professor June 1, 2011. When I was planning my trip I was uncertain what to expect. Upon arrival I found that Tohoku University and the IMR have recovered and are operating the same as they were in 2010. There are still small aftershocks that remind us of the past and we are working at the IMR, and in all of Japan, to reduce electricity consumption this summer; however, overall the IMR is completely recovered from the Great East Japanese Earthquake and is poised to continue its scientific mission. I am grateful to the ICC-IMR for having the opportunity to come to Sendai this summer where I will be studying the pyroelectric properties of oxide crystals in Prof. Kawazoe's research group. The software FERAM, which was developed by Prof. Nishimatsu, is a truly unique theoretical method that holds the promise to make significant contributions to the development of ferroelectric oxide materials. (http://loto.sourceforge.net/feram/) I am eagerly looking forward to my summer working at the IMR.

Dr. Scott Beckman,
visiting Associate Professor of IMR Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa state University

vol.16(Jul. 4, 2011)

 In the IMR library many books were fallen down from the shelves and one shelf was toppled by the earthquake. Fortunately, all of the users and staffs were unhurt. The damage was much less than that in the other libraries of Tohoku University with the preset earthquake proofing devices for preventing fall-down of books from the shelves. We opened some facilities tentatively on April 1 and then started to re-shelve books in the stack room, worst damaged, on the 4th floor in the IMR 3rd Bldg with improvements of earthquake performance with the powerful assistance of IMR Technical Center. The facilities and functions of the library were fully restored on May 9. We will continue with our efforts to improve the safety and usability for library users. Looking forward to your using our facilities.

Library staff, IMR

vol.15(Jul. 30, 2011)

 I had lived in Sendai for 15 years until 2001 and concerned about the damages in this huge earthquake. At middle of May, I came to Sendai and High field laboratory. Cryostat pump of 10T-CSM helium-free magnet sounds rhythmically. From June, cooperation experiments in High field laboratory were started. Today, 12 June, I'm performing experiments of novel Heusler alloys by means of 10T-CSM. This magnet is useful for experiments around room temperature. The experiments are getting along. I saw detailed reports about safety checks and current checks written in a note of user records. I am grateful for the efforts of the staffs in High field laboratory. I heard about the damages of the buildings and surroundings at Aoba-yama area in Tohoku University. I hope early restoration and fruitful results more than ever. I also hope all persons in Miyagi prefecture can be returned the same lives as always.

Assoc. Prof. Takuo Sakon,
Akita University

vol.14(Jul. 27, 2011)

 Three months or more have passed from the 3.11 earthquake disaster. KINKEN IMR NEWS vol.65 could be published by Public Relations Office as previously scheduled. We changed some parts of the planned contents into the special topic of “Earthquake Disaster Revival". You will find the powerful message in "TOP MESSAGE" described by Director Prof. Mitsuo Niinomi. When we received the manuscript from Prof. Niinomi, we decided to keep the schedule for publishing this volume of “KINKEN IMR news”. But, we worried about the damage of the printing factory and the paper supply. After checking the production situation, we convinced ourselves we could publish it on schedule. And all authors we proposed kindly accepted writing the article, and we received them within the scheduled period. We thank all authors for their cooperation. The news letter encouraged not only the readers but also the editorial staff. We will continue to inform the energetic KINKEN activity.

Yumi Aizawa,
Staff member of Public Relations Office, IMR

vol.13(Jul. 23, 2011)

 I was relieved to see that IMR had been back to normal when I visited there on 10 June, for the first time after the earthquake. I was in the former 1st Building of IMR when the 1978 Miyagi earthquake hit. I huddled under the desk immediately as the book shelves fell over and the fluorescent came off from the ceiling. Since then, book shelves and experimental equipments have been secured to a wall as learned from the experience. The earthquake of 11 March marked a serious damage in Tokai village (Ibaraki) where I live in now, and essential utilities was cut off for a while. The situation was almost the same as my previous experience thirty-three years ago in Sendai, but what bothered me this time, which did not occurred in 1978, was that the internet connection was down for more than ten days. I was disconnected with the outside and was unable to obtain necessary information. When the connection recovered, I was deeply touched by hundreds of emails from all over the world caring about me.
 I have heard that some experimental facilities in Aobayama campus require some time to be renovated. In Tokai, restoration of some parts of large facilities is not going to be completed until the end of this fiscal year. Despite the circumstances, I believe that we can do our best not only to restore to its original state, but to advance the situation for the future.

Sadamichi Maekawa,
Advanced Science Research Center, JAEA

vol.12(Jul. 17, 2011)

 When the earthquake happened, I was in my office on 3rd floor. I felt large vibration for long time and worried that the floor and ceiling might be broken down. Fortunately, all buildings at the IMR were remained without serious damages. Although the water cooling installations and liquefier for hybrid magnet system have some troubles and it may be a long time for the repair, all superconducting magnets including cryogen-free type and equipments at the High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials (HFLSM) are also no problem as results of those operation tests. Most research activities at the HFLSM are being recovered, at present after more than two months since the earthquake. From June, we will restart the user program using high field magnets at the HFLSM as well. I am happy if the cooperative research activity at the HFLSM helps the recovery.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Satoshi Awaji,
High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials, IMR.

vol.11(Jul. 13, 2011)

 At Institut Laue Langvin, everyone was extremely concerned to see the devastation caused by the earth quake in Japan on the 11th of March. Naturally the specialism of research science meant scientists all over the world were especially worried about the colleges and collaborators they know in Japan. For myself, having a confirmed post doctoral position planned at Institute for Materials Research Tohoku University, I was worried not only for my new colleges but also whether I would go to Japan at all. And so it has been very encouraging to hear about how damage in Tohoku was limited and that the recovery project is being dealt with swiftly. I will start at Tohoku University in October working for Prof. Hiroyuki Nojiri.

Dr. Michael L. Baker, School of Chemistry, University of Manchester, UK,
who will be a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow (from October 2011) of Magnetism division, Nojiri lab., IMR.

vol.10(Jul. 6, 2011)

 When the earthquake happened, I was just in the IMR and stayed in Sendai for 4 days. Then I left Sendai to Osaka, because I worried about the nuclear power station in Fukushima. On March 16, I returned to China from Kansei Airport by the airplane. Through watching news on the TV and connecting with the staff in my lab, I made sure that it is safe in Sendai and decided to come back. I came back to Sendai on May 7th 2011. I’m very glad to see that people living here have tried their best to come back to normal life. And my life here is not affected by the horrible earthquake. Although a few buildings and some instruments in Tohoku University have been damaged, my research in IMR can be continued as usual now.

Hou Ying, Master course student (MC2),
High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials, Watanabe lab., IMR

vol.9(Jul. 6, 2011)

 I have come to Sendai, taking about 5 hours from Tokyo on Mar. 31. My new post as an associate professor in IMR has started from Apr. 1. At that time, most of stores, even convenience stores, closed early in the evening, and many restaurants did not open because the supply of gas has stopped in Sendai city. However, after one week, we could use the gas and convenience stores sold lots of goods until midnight. Another week later, we had no inconvenience for daily life. Many people enjoyed at the hot springs near Sendai and shopping malls in the golden week’s holidays. Meanwhile, we have been making our laboratory, e.g. the provision against the earthquakes. Thus, we can do experiments even with use of liquid nitrogen and helium now.

Assoc. Prof. Satoshi Iguchi,
Low Temperature Condensed State Physics division, Sasaki lab., IMR,
who moved to IMR from Univ. Tokyo on April 1, 2011.

vol.8(May. 26, 2011)

 Once the unexpectable earthquake happened, a lot of equipment in our lab were displaced and dreadfully broken down. I could not imagine what we were going through in the future and how long it would take to recovery. The IMR staffs, nevertheless, immediately checked to confirm a safety in our building. Now I can imagine because they worked very hard to repair and clean up. That’s why we almost get everything back to normal within a month. In Sendai city, the facilities – electricity, gas and water – were all rapidly restored. I really admire Japanese people for theirs fortitude and responsibility. It seems to me the earthquake shakes only the buildings and breaks down only the machines but not their hearts. I do believe Japan will get through this hard time and even get better than before soon.

Mettaya Kitiwan, Ph.D student from Thailand,
Multi-Functional Materials Science, Materials Processing and Characterization Division, Goto lab., IMR

vol.7(May. 26, 2011)

 As a former postdoc of the IMR, I was very concerned about the situation in Sendai after the Tohoku-pacific ocean earthquake on March 11. After contacting our good friends at the IMR and the Tohoku University for more news, my colleagues and I are very happy to learn that due to the combined great efforts made by the inhabitants from the Tohoku area and other help provided throughout Japan, life in Sendai has almost returned to normality. I plan to visit Sendai and the IMR in the near future for carrying forward our collaborative research works with the physicists there and to see for myself that all the necessary help for the critical areas of concern have been implemented.

Prof. Dr. Micahel Lang, Physics Institute, Goethe-University Frankfurt (M), Germany,
who was the associate researcher of the low temperature condensed state physics division, IMR in 1990-1992.

vol.6(May. 23, 2011)

 The earthquake occurred on 11th March was a great shock even for me living in Osaka because I used to work at IMR. It was fortune that nobody was killed and the damage of buildings and equipments was not so big there. When I was living in Sendai, it was expected that there would be a big earthquake in the near future, but I could not imagine such a serious one. Especially I felt the strong tsunami attacked many cities and villages extremely terrible. I was watching TV doing nothing and I felt very much sad at the sights of destroyed places where I had visited. I have experienced two disasters. In 1961 when I was an undergraduate student, we had an inundation by flood in the laboratory and most equipments suffered from salty water, but we fixed them everyday by separating once and assembling again after cleaning by fresh water. We enjoyed this work because labor work was much easier than brain work. We had no time to study in the lecture room but I learned a lot about equipments that helped me later so much. On 17th January in 1995, I was already a professor of IMR, but I was occasionally at my house in Osaka. In the early morning, I felt a big shock and immediately supported my bookshelf. It was the Kobe earthquake. Fortunately I had no damage personally but many people were killed in Kobe. Some equipments in Kobe University where I worked before were destroyed, but they were recovered by a budget in IMR and I could advance my research more. I hope this big disaster will be changed to a good chance to create novel ideas in your research, especially for young people. The shortage of infrastructures may make you wiser.

Mitsuhiro Motokawa, Professor Emeritus of Tohoku University,
Former Professor of Magnetism Division and Former Director of HFLSM, IMR

vol.5(May. 23, 2011)

 “KINKEN” has almost recovered from the earthquake disaster that struck northeastern Japan including Sendai on March 11. In our group, Magnetic Materials Lab., more than 90 percent of experimental apparatuses such as a molecular beam epitaxy machine are now in working condition as usual. However, we still have several experimental systems with serious damages, which have not been repaired yet. Although it would take a long time to restore all the systems, we believe that your joining KINKEN pumps up our activity. Also, all the members in our group, staffs, post-docs, and students are studying with very high motivation to keep up our research activity.

Takeshi SEKI, Assistant Professor, Magnetic Materials division, Takanashi lab., IMR

vol.4(May. 13, 2011)

 We were absolutely shocked to find images of damage inflicted on facilities at Tohoku University including Institute for Materials Research, especially when we were excited to start our collaborative research with prof. Sasaki (Low Temp. Condensed State Physics Div.). Fortunately, since I have been told that the collaborative research facilities suffered little, I could visited IMR on April 29 for a discussion immediately after Shinkansen resumed its service from Tokyo to Sendai. Although Sendai station reflected the aftermath of the quake, accommodations and traffics in the city were operating almost as usual, and I felt strength of post-quake rehabilitation. I had a chance to drive on Tobu expressway, however, to face aftermath of the coastal side and to feel emotional unrest, which cannot be covered by medias, having pray for peoples’ spiritual recovery. Here, I would like to express sorrow for the victims.

Prof. Yoshihiro Koide, Kanagawa University (Collaborative Research program,
Low Temperature Condensed State Physics division, Sasaki lab.)

vol.3(May. 12, 2011)

 The photograph was taken in the last week, when I went go Michinoku National Park with my friends. We had a really good time. Many kinds of flower were blooming what just like the bright future of Sendai and IMR after quake. Now, I returned my research last month and everything goes smooth. After disaster and recovery of Sendai and IMR, there is any problem in my dairy life. I can get milk, fruits and foods if I want. Two younger friends of mine in China will go to IMR for their PhD degree, I have told them that do not worry about anything cause everything in Sendai has come back to normal.

Dr. ZHANG Song, PD in Multi-Functional Materials Science division, Goto lab., IMR

vol.2(May. 12, 2011)

 At the earthquake, I was a doctor course student in the Physics department, Tohoku University, at Aobayama campus. After receiving the degree in March, there was an uneasy feeling, because I was appointed to work as a postdoctoral fellow in KINKEN. However, without being affected by the earthquake, we can make a new start of research activities from the beginning of April. Fortunately, damage to equipments in laboratory was not so large. Now I just started to investigate the novel electronic dielectricity of the organic materials by using infrared spectroscopy. Moreover, a lifeline in my apartment had been already recovered and then a situation of my daily life became normal like as before the earthquake.

Dr. Hideki Nakaya, PD in Low Temperature Condensed State Physics division, Sasaki lab., IMR.

vol.1(May. 12, 2011)

 I am a postdoctoral researcher at the High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials since the end of 2009. At the time when the earthquake hit, I was at my workplace. The first few days after the disaster were very frustrating since the aftershocks were coming continuously. However, I must say I really appreciate the technology of the buildings construction in Japan: neither our laboratory, nor my house or the buildings around were damaged significantly. The recovery from the earthquake in Tohoku University goes extremely fast. The majority of laboratories are operating and the scientific and social life has got back to its normal state!

Dr. Evgeniya Tereshina, JSPS postdoctoral fellow (2009-2011),
High Field Laboratory for Superconducting Materials, Watanabe lab.. IMR