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The Physical Society of Japan: 4th (2023) Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Prize


Vol.33 (Apr) 2023 | Article no.9-4 2023

4 The Physical Society of Japan: 4th (2023) Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Prize by JPS

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Fumiko Yonezawa


The late Fumiko Yonezawa, emeritus professor of Keio University, made major contributions to physics, such as the development of the coherent potential approximation, and the theory of the metal–insulator transition in liquid selenium. Prof. Yonezawa served as the first female president of the Physical Society of Japan (JPS) and as the president of the Society for Women Scientists for a Bright Future, she also promoted women scientists.

JPS has established the “Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Prize” to celebrate the achievements of Prof. Yonezawa and to honor and encourage the activities of the women who are members of JPS.

A few prize winners will be selected once a year, with a maximum of about five recipients. The prize ceremony will be held during the annual meeting of JPS. The prize recipients will give commemorative lectures at JPS meetings within a period of one 1 year after receiving the prize. Winners will receive items such as certificates and honorary shields, as well as additional prizes, namely: (1) paid attendance fees for JPS meetings for the next 3 years; and (2) an exemption, of up to 200,000 JPY (yen), from publication fees and open access fees for the Journal of the Physical Society of Japan, and from the article processing charges for the journal, Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (valid for 3 years for submissions after the prize is received).

The citations of the winners of the 4th (2023) Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Prize are listed below.

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Rina Takagi

Assistant Professor, Institute of Engineering Innovation/Department of Applied Physics, The University of Tokyo

Exploration of new materials for multi-orbital correlated electron systems showing unique magnetic states

Dr. Rina Takagi has conducted a series of studies about strongly correlated electronic materials having multiple orbitals, revealing rich physics due to the critical role of multiple orbitals by clarifying the relation between their characteristic magnetic structures and multiple orbitals. First, she studied organic solids of single-component molecular conductors M(tmdt)2. Depending on the degeneracy between the orbitals of metallic ions M and the orbitals of organic ligand tmdt, she has found that various kinds of strongly correlated electronic phases appear such as paramagnetic metal, antiferromagnetic or non-magnetic Mott insulators, and orbital-selective Mott insulators. Second, she studied the second group of multiple-orbital strongly correlated materials, such as itinerant magnets of hexagonal Y3Co8Sn4 and cubic EuAl4 crystals. She has found multiple-Q ordered magnetic structures due to magnetic frustration. She especially has found that even under space-inversion symmetry, multiple-Q ordered magnetic structures such as triangular lattices of magnetic vortices are formed due to four-body magnetic interaction mediated by conduction electrons. These achievements by Dr. Takagi, revealing rich physics of multiple-orbital strongly correlated systems, are benefitting the Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Prize of the Physical Society of Japan.

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Nayuta Takemori

Specially Appointed Associate Professor, Center for Quantum Information and Quantum Biology, Osaka University

Exploring strongly correlated many-body effects in unique electronic systems: a theoretical study

Focusing on an interplay between peculiar electronic structures and strong correlation effects that may occur in real materials, Dr. Takemori has theoretically studied emergent phenomena with special emphasis on mass imbalance systems, quasicrystal systems, and iron-based superconductors. In particular, she is highly regarded as a leading young researcher in the theoretical studies of strongly correlated quasicrystals.

Dr. Takemori first investigated a mixed system of cold Fermi atoms with different masses. She focused on a unique degree of freedom called mass imbalance, which characterizes the mixed cold atom system, and obtained the results strongly suggesting the possibility of an emergent supersolid state in which density waves and superfluid coexist. The theoretical study, conducted thereafter, on the strong correlation effects in quasicrystal systems is representative of Dr. Takemori's research work, which was inspired by the quantum criticality in the Au–Al–Yb quasicrystal discovered in 2012. Using the dynamical mean field theory, she systematically analyzed characteristic phenomena originating from strong correlation effects and the peculiar geometrical structure inherent in the quasiperiodic systems, and thus elucidated that the phase transitions such as the Mott transition and the superconducting transition are uniquely determined even in the quasiperiodic systems, while the distribution of the local electronic quantities reflects the quasiperiodic structure below the transition temperature. Furthermore, the result obtained by extending this analysis to superconductivity turns out to be consistent with the superconducting state discovered later for the Al–Mg–Zn quasicrystal, and it gives a signature to distinguish superconductivity in periodic systems and that in quasicrystals. More recently, she has vigorously conducted research on novel physical properties arising from the unique Fermi-surface shape in iron-based superconductors and has obtained the results that provide an important step for clarifying the common properties of iron-based superconductors.

These observations lead us to conclude that Dr. Takemori’s scientific achievements deserve the Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Prize of the Physical Society of Japan.

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Nanae Taniguchi

Associate Professor, Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies (IPNS), High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK)

Exploration of new physics beyond the Standard Model of elementary particles

The purpose of the KEK Belle II experiment is to study new physics beyond the Standard Model in particle physics by producing many B0 B0-bar meson pairs by electron–positron collisions. Because the collision rate in Belle II is several ten times higher than the previous Belle experiment, many detectors had to be rebuilt.

Nanae Taniguch received her PhD for the study of new particle physics through rare B-meson decays. After receiving the degree, she started working on a project to build a new Central Drift Chamber (CDC; 2.2 m in diameter and 2.3 m in length) to measure tracks from the collision point in a high-rate environment in Belle II. Taniguchi played a central role in the development, mass-production, and installation of new electronics for CDC. She also worked on the construction of CDC and successfully read out 14,000 channels of signals as designed. She also worked on coordinating domestic and international collaborators to develop and mass-produce the electronics, and fulfilled the responsibility of its performance evaluation and quality assurance. In addition, she expanded her coverage to the trigger and data acquisition systems, and made all the detector components work together as a unified system. For her such significant contributions to the experiment, she was chosen to be the leader of the CDC group in 2019. In addition, for her contributions on solving the problems on CDC and safe operation of CDC, she received the Belle II Best Achievement Award in 2021.

As a member of the Future Planning Committee of the Japan Association of High Energy Physicists, she is actively involved in discussing and planning the future of the particle physics field. She is also actively reaching out to the public and telling the joy of working on science through science camps for female high school students and public lectures.

Her achievements and various activities stand out in the field, and encourage other female scientists to follow her. Nanae Taniguchi thus deserves to receive the Fumiko Yonezawa Memorial Prize of the Physical Society of Japan.

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[Source: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s43673-023-00078-3]