From the Director

Takahisa Arima

Taka-hisa Arima

RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science (CEMS) was established in 2013 as a research center which bound the basics of physics, chemistry, and electronics, where top leaders and young researchers collaborate with each other.  Here, ‘emergence’ means that an aggregate system composed of many elements may exhibit qualitatively different behaviors beyond just the sum of each element’s behaviors.

We aim to design novel material functions and to realize them by producing materials and devices as their stage.  The basic research fields of CEMS are ‘strong correlation physics’, ‘supramolecular chemistry’, and ‘quantum information electronics’.  Researchers in each field aim to create new knowledge based on their own interests, which are combined to contribute to the sustainability of the earth’s environment and the future development of the human beings.

CEMS has been dealing with developing energy functions of electrons in condensed matters which open the door to ‘the third energy revolution’. The industry revolution in the late 18th century replaced manual and animal labor with machines powered by energy from coal. In 19th century, humans began harnessing electrical energy, a discovery that was rooted in the newly understood principles of electromagnetism. Most of the electrical energy today is still obtained from coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, water flow and wind through electromagnetic induction. However, the realization of carbon neutral requires the direct transformation from light, heat, etc. to the electrical energy.  CEMS keeps trying to construct new electromagnetism based on the emergence in condensed matters, looking back the fact that the electrical energy originates from electrons in materials.

We must also be conscious about the fact that the rapid information revolution today is accelerating the global boiling.  Energy consumption in acquisition, storage, calculation, and communication of information is steeply growing.  The storage and conversion of information are essentially equivalent to those of energy in condensed matters.  The emergent electromagnetism should contribute to the realization of information society with suppressed energy consumption.

CEMS keeps exploring innovative principles and new materials that cannot be approached by any extension of conventional technology but only by basic material science.


Taka-hisa Arima
Director, RIKEN Center for Emergent Matter Science