Message from the Director
Solar energy, regarded as the origin of life, is produced by nuclear fusion in the extreme conditions at the core of the Sun, and reaches the Earth as light
energy, which nurtured terrestrial life over a billion years. In the vast spacetime scale of the universe, energy has created the biosphere harmonized with
the rich planetary environment, changing the form and shape through nature's ingenious mechanisms. With the various energy-related problems emerging in the current 21st century, a new approach of energy science is desired, which explores next generation energy based on the broader perspectives encompassing the entire coordination of nature.
The Institute of Advanced Energy was established in May 1996 for the purpose of exploring the next-generation energy by probing into the laws and
basic principles of nature, and of developing the state-of-the-art technologies to utilize them for practical applications. For this purpose, 14 sections of research areas are organized as three divisions, each dedicated to one of the three basic kinds of energy processes: generation, conversion, and utilization of energy. On top of this, we set up the Laboratory for Complex Energy Processes which also includes 3 sections of research areas. This laboratory organically integrates all the disciplines to enable us to tackle complex energy related issues. Furthermore, we actively promote the internationalization of research and return the fruits of our research back into society incorporating with industry-academia-government collaboration. The institute is also in charge of the Graduate School of Energy Science's Cooperating Chair, which conducts student education and trains researchers in a leading-edge research environment.
The Institute of Advanced Energy focuses on two core research areas: "Plasma and Quantum Energy Science" and "Soft Energy Science". The first topic deals with the generation of energy by nuclear fusion on Earth, which is equivalent to that created in the Sun. The second topic addresses the development of methods for highly efficient energy based on the principles of biology and materials science, which has created the biosphere the Earth's environment. The form and shape of these two energy sources seem different. However, plasma, in which nuclear fusion takes place, has been found to be a highly autonomous medium that spontaneously forms a variety of structures and dynamics similar to those of living organisms.
The Institute has coordinated these phenomena in the wide energy range to create a new energy philosophy incorporated with that referred to as "Zero-Emission Energy". We collaborate with researchers across a broad range of academic fields in Joint Usage/Research Center programs. We hope to develop the breakthrough of energy that will lead the 21st century through the active merging of research in the wide energy range, similar to the creation of beautiful patterns of fabric interwoven from threads of various forms and shapes.
To achieve this end, all of us at the Institute are committed to engaging in extensive discussions, bringing our collective wisdom together, and driving our research and administration under Kyoto University's culture of academic freedom. We look forward to your continued support and cooperation.
Director Yasuaki Kishimoto