Message archive

Asian CORE Student Meeting 2015

posted Nov 20, 2015, 12:22 AM by フォトニクスセンター eラーニング   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 12:37 AM ]

I am Natsuo Taguchi, the president of OSA/SPIE Osaka University Student Chapter in this year.  We, Student Chapter annually hold an international student conference which is planned and organized by students.  For the past few years, we have invited many foreign students studying optics and photonics focusing from Asian countries and set up many opportunities to create international networks among the students.  Since different countries have different culture and histories, and people living there have very different thoughts, we  have realized how fresh and interesting it is to have discussions on the bases of a common keyword “Light”, with students from diversified backgrounds.


For this year, International Year of Light 2015, we, Student Chapter are honored to hold an international student meeting “Asian CORE Student Meeting 2015” during December 8-9.  We will invite around 50 students from China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Singapore to create valuable students’ networks.  With a concept “how we should develop our careers in the future”, we will have fulfilling discussions through invited lecturers, panel discussions and group works etc.  It is always one of the significant interests for students to get competent jobs by optimizing their own personalities.  Moreover, career environments have been getting more international especially in Asia, and Japan is not the exception.  In such diversified and international environments, we are sure that it will be very meaning  opportunity for students to exchange their opinions regarding careers.  We will also have two invited lecturers, Prof. Toyohiko Yatagai, Utsunomiya University and President of SPIE; and Prof. Satoshi Kawata, Osaka University and my supervisor.  Because of their diverse experience and thoughts, we expect all attendees to be inspired for their future careers from their talks. We also plan to have oral and poster presentations for their research introduction.


Actually, Asian CORE Student Meeting 2015 is smaller in the budget, the number of attendees, and the number of days than the past conferences we had.  However, we have been working so hard for the preparation for more than a half year so that we hope all attendees will be able to  obtain satisfying results.  Now the preparation of this meeting has come to the final stage.  I would like to thank all the chapter staff and PARC staff for helping me to arrange this meeting, and Prof. Yatagai and Prof. Kawata for their warm supports and cooperation.


We will continuously do our best for the success of this conference.

Natsuo Taguchi, the president of OSA/SPIE Student Chapter, Osaka University

OSA/SPIE 大阪大学学生チャプターの今年度代表を務める田口です。本学生チャプターはここ数年、学生が企画・運営を行う国際会議を毎年開催しています。アジア諸国を中心として、様々な国で光学を学ぶ学生を日本に招待し、国際的な学生間ネットワーク構築の場を設けてきました。国が異なれば文化や歴史も異なり、そこで暮らす人間の考え方にも大いに違いがあります。そのような多様な背景を持つ学生が一堂に会し、「光」という共通キーワードを切り口にして意見交換することに、新鮮味と面白さを覚えてきました。


国際光年である今年も本チャプターは機会に恵まれ、国際学生会議 “Asian CORE Student Meeting 2015” を、128日と9日の2日間にかけて開催します。インド・シンガポール・台湾・中国・日本・マレーシアから約50人の学生を招待し、価値ある学生ネットワークの構築を目指します。今年は「キャリアをどのように今後の将来で築くべきか」というコンセプトのもとで、招待講演・パネルディスカッション・グループワークなどを通じて密度が濃い議論を行います。各々の個性を活かし満足のいく仕事に就くことは、どの時代およびどの国の学生おいても重要な関心事です。そして、今日のアジアにおけるキャリアの環境は年々国際化が進んでおり、日本もその例外ではありません。そのような環境の中で、キャリアに関する意見を様々な国の学生の間で交換することは、非常に有意義なものになると思っています。また、宇都宮大学の教授であり SPIE 現会長の谷田貝豊彦先生および私の指導教員である河田聡先生を、招待講演者としてお呼びしています。お二方が歩んでこられた幅広いご経験や考え方から、今後のキャリアへのヒントを参加者が得ることを期待しています。勿論、参加者による研究紹介も、口頭およびポスターの両方で行われます。


今回の学生会議は前年度と比べて、予算・参加人数・日数ともに小規模なものです。しかしその分、参加者全員がより多くのものを得ることができるよう、半年以上かけて準備してきました。その Asian CORE Student Meeting 2015 の準備も、いよいよ大詰めを迎えています。最後に、本学生会議の準備をサポートして下さった OSA/SPIE 大阪大学学生チャプターの皆さんおよび PARC 職員の方々、参加者の皆様、想像を超えるほどに多忙な中を縫って出席して下さる谷田貝先生、そして谷田貝先生を招待講演者として打診した瞬間に電話で直接依頼して下さった河田先生に、厚く御礼を申し上げます。本学生会議が参加者全員にとって最善なものとなるよう、尽力して参ります。どうぞよろしくお願い致します。

大阪大学 OSA/SPIE 学生チャプター代表

田口 夏生

Impressions on Life in the US – Dive into a Pro-Innovation Environment! /「米国生活で感じたこと」~イノベーションできる環境へ飛び込もう~

posted Oct 13, 2015, 10:02 PM by フォトニクスセンター eラーニング   [ updated Oct 14, 2015, 1:21 AM by 田中千秋 ]

What I write here will deviate from the usual Photonics-related topics that have been addressed by my esteemed colleagues. With permission and with the hope that it will be beneficial especially to students, I have gathered my impressions below on life in the US and the differences with Japan.


I have lived in the US on two different occasions for a total of 10 years on both the East and West Coasts. My first occasion was as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University for one year beginning in the October immediately following 9/11. The second occasion was when I was assigned to manage Sharp Labs of America ( in Washington State for nine years. In my first US stint, I was on my own and faced many challenges in arranging everything and getting established by myself, and by the time of my second stint in the US I had a growing family, which made things very enjoyable but also presented other challenges. Although I would be happy to relate my family-related adventures, here I would like to focus on the attitudes in the US toward research and development as well as present my take on why interesting technologies and business models originate in the US.


The one year at Columbia University was short but very sweet. Although I did have to share equipment with other researchers, I was able to spend as many hours of the day as I liked, from morning to evening, on experimentation. Although I was on a limited one-year program and therefore was not taking any classes, other international students who were studying toward a postgraduate degree had to take classes. Foreign students faced the difficult challenge of English tests, which they had to pass to earn their degree, no matter what outstanding research and development they were working on. I remember the sight of students studying desperately despite having a much better command of spoken English than I did. A Korean, with whom I became friends as we discussed experimental results, had quit his job, immigrated to the US with his family, and paid high tuition fees and lived off his savings as he pursued his postgraduate degree. It is no wonder such students study for their dear lives!

Another strong impression I received was that, despite all the international students from many different countries in all the labs, there were almost none from Japan. This was especially true of the school and research program (that I had enrolled in) covering mathematics, physics, and devices that had a high number of foreign students from Asia. After my time was up, I took the results of my research at Columbia back with me to Japan, basing the design and study of prototypes for a manufacturing device on those results.


Eventually the time came for my second stay in America. My initial assignment in North America was to investigate new device technologies and their supporting process technologies and bring them back to Japan. After some unanticipated developments, I ended up becoming the manager of Sharp Labs of America. Of the roughly 170 employees at Sharp Labs, a Sharp subsidiary, only six or seven employees were on assignment from Japan with the rest being locally hired researchers and engineers. The people at Sharp Labs, though hired locally, included not only US nationals, but naturalized US nationals, Dutch, English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Turkish, Italian, French and other nationalities. Even though there were a variety of cultures and backgrounds, they were a powerful driving force when they all meshed together. The hiring policy was to hire only experienced professionals; fresh graduates were not on the radar. Of course there were exceptions; an exceptional student deemed necessary for a project at Sharp Labs would be hired even if they had just come out of school. The hiring process includes resume screening, an interview with HR, and evaluations by multiple interviewers of the candidate’s technical background, presentation skills, and communication skills. I, too, had the valuable opportunity to conduct interviews.

It was at this time that I realized the significance of having a postgraduate degree as well as an inkling as to one reason why I saw so few international students from Japan at Columbia University. Although it is a fact that American society is a meritocracy, it is a hierarchical society even more so than in Japan. There is a large gap in lifetime earnings between those with a postgraduate degree and those who are not. Unfortunately in Japan, having a Master’s degree or PhD does not result in a sizable difference in lifetime earnings (with the exception of some people), although having a higher degree may win admiration. Although this may be a biased view, I feel that this is one factor in why there is such a small number of Japanese students in US universities. At the same time, having a postgraduate degree does not necessarily guarantee smooth sailing; it does not guarantee being hired and may even lead to being laid off. True story: Sharp Labs once received an employment application from an assistant professor but we rejected him.


Let us move on to another topic. New products, concepts, and business models seemingly all originate from the US. Apple has built a superb ecosystem and business model for its iPhone, which now has many users in Japan as well. Some people say that, as a piece of hardware, not only is the iPhone inferior to Japan-made or Korean (Samsung)-made smartphones, but that almost all of its parts are made in Japan, Korea, or China. Such people say Apple succeeded only because they  excelled at building the business model. However, their uncompromising obsession with design and the finished product, as well as the finish on the hardware, deserves a begrudging tip of the hat. Apple is famously known as having started as an idea in a garage, but I believe the pro-innovation environment was a significant enabler. Even today, the Bay Area where Apple grew up remains rife with entrepreneurs as well as venture capitalists and angel investors. Now there are venues for entrepreneurs to network, an example of which is Plug and Play Tech Center (, a platform already being leveraged by Japanese companies and universities. This platform is very open and is producing interesting ideas every day, as well as small companies based on those ideas. The public has even embraced The Apprentice, a TV program that was hosted by presidential hopeful Donald Trump in which he evaluated and invested in people with interesting ideas. Such opportunities are constantly evolving. Another evolution is crowdfunding, a mechanism still in its infancy in Japan, which raises 10 times, sometimes even 100 times, the amount of funding in the US compared with Japan.

Another positive aspect of US society is that there are many figurative dangling ropes for climbing out of the proverbial hole for people who have made a mistake but who just have that indomitable spirit. As mentioned above, people with higher degrees may become unemployed, but there are also many opportunities for a new job and new employment. The barriers to changing jobs seem low. If a job calls for a higher degree, there are many open doors to earn that degree. One’s social status (housewife or working professional), race, and age, has no bearing on their enrollment in US universities as students of all walks of life study to attain their goals. There may of course be several such students in Japanese universities, but they are likely few in number. Many companies no longer have pension plans which make it easier for workers to change jobs and companies to hire experienced professionals. Other factors for the low barriers in changing employment are that age and gender basically are not an issue and that information on income levels for occupation, region, and skills are essentially commonly known.


I may have painted a rosy picture of the US, but keep in mind there are negatives as well and aspects in which Japan is superior in a systematic way. What I can say is this: there is no substitute for experiencing the US on a first-hand basis. Even if it is for one week (but not on a guided tour), you will be able to get a taste of the openness of that country. If you have the confidence and the desire to test yourself, then I definitely recommend earning a degree at a US institution. If you are not interested in going overseas, at the minimum I recommend that you study English, which is absolutely necessary if you are to be competitive with your global peers.

Junichiro Nakayama
Vice President of Corporate R&D Division
Head of Advanced Technology Research Laboratories
SHARP Corporation



これまでに、米国には2度住んでいます。1回目は、ナインイレブン直後の10月から1年間、コロンビア大学に研究員-Visiting Staffとして、2回目は、ワシントン州にあるシャープアメリカン研究所(をマネージする立場で約9年間赴任しましたので、合計で10年、東海岸と西海岸の生活を経験しました。1回目の赴任では、生活の立ち上げをすべて一人でしただけに苦労をしましたし、2回目の赴任中には、家族が増えたこともあって、楽しいことだけではなく、色々と大変なこともありました。プライベートの話は、お会いさせていただいたときにでもゆっくりさせていただくこととし、ここでは、研究・開発に対する姿勢や、どうして面白い技術やビジネスモデルは、米国から生み出されるのかに関して、自分なりの解釈も加えて記します。








別の話をしましょう。新しい商品、コンセプト、ビジネスモデルはほとんどが米国発です。Apple社のiPhoneは、そのエコシステムの構築からビジネスモデルまで非常に素晴らしいものであり、日本でも多くのユーザーが居ます。iPhoneをハードウェアとして考えると、日本あるいは韓国のSmartphoneの方が優れているし、そもそもパーツのほとんどは、日本製、韓国製、中国製なので、彼らはビジネスモデルとしてうまく構築しただけだという人もいるかと思います。しかしながら」、そのデザインや最終製品に見る製品に対するこだわりに妥協はなく、ハードウエアとしてもトータルでの仕上がりでも残念ながら脱帽せざるを得ません。もともとは、アイデア勝負でガレージから出発したことは周知のことですが、それを生み出せる環境があったということが大きいと思います。Apple社が育ったBay Areaには今でも沢山の起業家があり、それを支えるベンチャーキャピタルやエンジェルと呼ばれる投資家たちがおり、さらに彼らの出会いを提供する場もあります。一例として、既に日本の企業や大学も利用しているPlug and Play Tech Center (を紹介しますが、非常にOpenで日々面白いアイデアとそれに基づく小さな会社が生み出されています。これだけにとどまらず、大統領選に出馬しようとしているトランプ氏が審査員を務め、面白いアイデアには出資するテレビ番組(The Apprentice)さえあります。これらの仕組みも日々更新されている状況です。また、日本でも最近使われるようになってきたクラウドファンディングですが、米国では日本の10倍、時には100倍もの資金が集まります。




シャープ株式会社 研究開発本部 先端技術研究所所長
中山 純一郎

We are going to hold The 6th "Super HIKARIJUKU" Kid's Photonics school / 第6回こども科学の教室 スーパー光塾を開催します

posted Sep 7, 2015, 7:58 PM by 田中千秋   [ updated Sep 9, 2015, 12:02 AM ]

“Why do fireflies glow in the dark? ” “How can cameras record a moment as a photograph?” “Why is the rainbow colorful?” These questions that everyone must have wondered once about can be explained by the mysterious nature of light.

We are going to hold “Kid's Photonics School” -Super "HIKARI JUKU"- again on 23rd November this year and provide several easy scientific experiments or lectures with kids. We would like elementary school students to learn about “light” joyfully and feel familiar with science. This school is ordinary held by Photonics Center, the department of engineering and OSA/SPIE student chapter in Osaka University. Approximately 50 elementary school kids will be invited to this event every year and we focus a main theme on optics and provide several easy scientific experiments or lectures with kids.

It will be the sixth time for us to have it this year. This year, we would like elementary school students to see the unexpected sides of light through experiments, lectures, and exhibits. That is why we made “amazing light -the unexpected sides of light-” a theme for the Photonics Kid’s school. We are doing the best to prepare many exciting light experiments including PIKAPIKA: doodling with light (making twinkling paintings by a penlight on photos), Marble Big Light (expanding small paintings on a plastic sheet by using a marble as a lens) and more.

You will be able to apply for participation in this school until 20th October 2015. Please don’t miss it and let’s become a Doctor of Light!


You can see photos from the last year’s school on our Facebook page, here.


6th Kid's Photonics School” -Super "HIKARI JUKU"- Student President,







第6回子ども科学の教室 スーパー光塾 学生統括 伊藤健

Spectrometer Exhibit / 「分光器展」

posted Jul 27, 2015, 4:53 PM by 田中千秋   [ updated Jul 27, 2015, 4:55 PM by フォトニクスセンター eラーニング ]

The “Spectrometer Exhibit: Instruments that Separate Light into the Colors of the Rainbow” was held at the Osaka Science Museum. I was thrilled to visit the exhibit, due to the fact that they were presenting measuring instruments that I use on a daily basis. One of the displayed items that particularly caught my eye was a spectrometer used in the early 20th century. More than half of the spectrometer’s housing was formed of wood, and a photographic plate was used for recording the spectra. Today the photographic plate has been replaced by a CCD camera, and the rotating mechanism of the optical element is now controlled electrically. Despite this, the internal construction is not much different from modern apparatuses. In fact, the device even employed quartz for the internal prism and lenses, a clever solution that allows passage of ultraviolet light while enabling analysis of a broader range of light wavelengths. This spectroscope was displayed alongside emission spectra of the various chemical elements that were acquired at the time the spectroscope was in use. It was startling how vivid the spectra appeared on the photographic plates. As I gazed at the images, I began to speculate how the scientists using these apparatuses in those days must have felt catching a glimpse of a world no one else had seen. Another part of the exhibit I found of great interest in addition to the displays of equipment were images of fireworks against the backdrop of a night sky in which the light had been separated into its spectral components.
Viewing this exhibit took me back to the Super Light School (Science School for Kids) at the Photonics Center. I participated in the first ever installment of the school. The elementary kids who took part in the class and I built a spectroscope to observe familiar forms of light, such as sunlight and fluorescent light. I was nervous in the days leading up to the class because I don’t ordinarily have many opportunities to speak with elementary kids, so I used some close connections to get some advice from an elementary school teacher. When visiting the teacher’s school I was astonished at how small the desks and chairs in the classroom were, bringing up altogether different worries from a physical perspective. I had prepared vivid slides with colorful rainbow schemes to attract the kids’ attention, but the teacher advised me to be careful about using too much color as brilliant colors can make some kids feel ill, so I revised my presentation at the last minute. Thanks to the advice I received from numerous people, I was able to enjoy myself in the class, albeit still being somewhat nervous. The spectrum shown on this page was acquired with the spectrometer that we used in the Super Light School. While the spectrometer is formed of a simple construction of pieces cut from a CD and cardboard paper, we were able to observe common sunlight separated into a brilliant rainbow of colors.
While light is so common in our everyday lives, we don’t often have an opportunity to get to know the science of light. Through exhibitions, like this spectrometer exhibit, the Light School, and the activities performed by everyone at the Photonics Center, it is my hope that the science of light will become more accessible to everyone.
Jun Ando, post-doctoral research fellow, Osaka University

大阪市立科学館で「分光器展 ~光を虹色に分ける機器~」が開催されていました。日常的に使用している計測機器が紹介されるとあって、嬉しくなって見学に行ってきました。展示物の中で一際目をひかれたのは、20世紀前半に使用されていた分光器でした。筐体の半分以上は木製で、スペクトルの撮像には写真乾板が用いられていました。今では写真乾板はCCDカメラに置き換わり、光学素子の回転機構は電動制御になっています。それでも、内部の仕組みは現代の機器とほとんどかわりありません。むしろ、分析できる光の波長の幅を広げるため、内部のプリズムやレンズに、紫外光を透過しやすい石英を用いる工夫がなされているほどでした。この分光器が現役の時代に取得した、様々な元素の発光スペクトルも併せて展示されていました。写真乾板に映し出されたスペクトルの鮮明さには驚かされました。当時この機器を使って、これまで誰も見た事のない世界を垣間見ていたのだろうかと、想像を膨らませながら眺めていました。機器の展示の他にも、夜空に打ち上がる花火を、光の色毎に分けてスペクトルで表示する映像などもあり、興味深くながめていました。







博士研究員 安藤 潤

See things from a wider perspective to think deeper/視野を広げて,深く考える

posted Jun 7, 2015, 10:10 PM by 音野多映   [ updated Jun 7, 2015, 10:11 PM ]

The rainy season will come soon. 5 months have passed since I came to Osaka. In this period, I attended various events and activities related to science, and had chances to communicate with others working in different fields. These days were very exciting for me because I could think about how my work makes a social contribution, and the relationship to other’s work in different fields. Working in new place makes me realize the importance of widening my perspectives throughout exposures to different values again.
Now I’m working on fluorescence microscope. Fluorescence microscopy is one of the optical microscope. In microscopy, fluorescent materials are used to label the region which you want to observe in specimens. Since only fluorescence materials emit light by irradiation with a particular wavelength of light, it is possible to observe the only region labeled by the fluorescent materials. 
The above technique is also used in daily life. For example, when you go out, you turn off all electrical products in a room. Although recently most products have LED light indicator to show if it is on, you might miss or forget to turn off some of those many products.  In such case, first turn off the room light, and you can easily find which is on and emitting light. In this example, LED light indicator is used instead of fluorescent materials. Of course you can apply such technique for other situations.
Needless to add, thinking deeply is important for researchers and engineers. However, I think it is also significant to pause to think through the relationship with others in sometimes, because I felt there were hints/clues to think various ways for social contribution or new findings through this period.

The picture was taken with my cell phone. If I widen my perspectives, I would find more interesting things around me.  I have to keep studying and thinking to get some ideas through my life.

Yasunori Nawa, Kawata laboratory
 このように書くと,顕微鏡の為の技術と思われるかもしれませんが,似たようなことは普段の生活でも使われます.例えば出かけるとき,電気製品の電源をきるかと思います.最近では,各製品にLEDがついており,その光で通電しているかどうか知らせてくれるものが多いですが,製品の数が増えてくると,うっかり見落とす事があるかもしれません.そんな時は部屋の電気をまず消します.すると,暗がりの中から消し忘れているものだけが光って教えてくれます. この場合,蛍光物質ではなく,LEDを利用していますが,これ以外にもたくさんの応用があるでしょう.

河田・藤田研究室 PhD. 名和 靖矩

Photonics Center e-Learning

posted Apr 22, 2015, 4:50 PM by フォトニクスセンター eラーニング   [ updated Apr 26, 2015, 7:06 PM ]

Greetings! I am Chiaki Tanaka, manager of e-Learning at the Photonics Center.

The hustle and bustle of a new school year and the warm sunshine of spring are upon us. But in this season that brims with sunlight, how much do you really know about light in general?

Many people are interested in topics concerning living and health. Some believe morning sunshine is important for establishing their rhythm for the day, and women might be particularly concerned about skin damage from sunburn. Although we are so familiar with it, there are so many things that we, as non-technical people, do not know about light, which is essential for all living things.

Unlike the electron, which had its day in the 20th century, the photon by its nature can freely travel through the atmosphere, water, and living matter. The photon is said to be the key to core technologies of the 21st century in the fields of energy, environment, ICT, advanced manufacturing, safety and security.

Clearly, light has great potential. But when one who is not a researcher versed in the field tries to learn the fundamentals of light, imposing barriers spring up in the form of physics and chemistry equations, which can end up giving that individual cold feet.

I am pleased to announce that Photonics Center e-Learning now offers a more effective teaching program on the subject of light. Here I would like to take the opportunity to introduce the e-Learning program. We have opened the e-Learning program only for the members in Osaka University and the partner companies who have been trying to making invention together. 

Photonics Center e-Learning

At this time, Photonics Center e-Learning offers Photonics Courses covering photonics from its fundamentals to advanced technologies, socially beneficial Photonics Entrepreneurial Courses for innovation creation in the photonics industry, and openly available (no login required) courses, including Common Facility (Equipment) Operation Courses and general courses. Last fiscal year, we released five new Common Facility Operation courses, in which Photonics Center technicians provide an overview of and describe in detail the use of state-of-the-art photonics equipment.

e-Learning Common Facilities Operation Courses

Access to Photonics Center e-Learning is limited to Osaka University faculty and students and Photonics Center partners. Osaka University members may access the course content by logging in with their Osaka University Personal ID through the Campus Authentication Service. Members of partner organizations who are accessing the site for the first time will be issued an ID and password with which they will have access to the content.

The lectures, comprising slides that incorporate illustrations, are attractively designed to provide visual stimulation and to leave a vivid impression. Each video is also kept to about 20 minutes in length so that the viewer can maintain his/her attention and repeat the lecture as desired. PCs, smartphones, and tablet devices are all supported.

Access to Photonics Center e-Learning is a privilege reserved for Osaka University faculty and students and Photonics Center partners.

I am convinced that the courses, which start with fundamentals and extend to applications, will help you gain a deeper understanding of the possibilities of light. Please visit the site and see for yourself.


Chiaki Tanaka
e-Learning Manager
Photonics Center

こんにちは。フォトニクスセンター eラーニング担当 田中です。






【フォトニクスセンター e-ラーニング】

現在、フォトニクスセンター e-ラーニングでは、フォトニクスの基礎から最先端まで学べる「フォトニクス講座」、フォトニクスで産業イノベーションを生み出し、社会貢献を目指す「フォトニクス起業講座」、その他、ログインせずに見られる、共用装置利用講座、一般講座があります。昨年度は共用装置利用講座を新たに5本公開いたしました。フォトニクスセンターの技術職員が、光に関わる最新鋭の装置について、その概要から使い方まできめ細やかに紹介しています。

【e-ラーニング 共用装置利用講座】





2015年4月23日 フォトニクスセンター 田中 千秋

Turning on the light

posted Mar 9, 2015, 6:27 PM by 田中千秋   [ updated Mar 10, 2015, 1:02 AM ]

I used to view light as something simply to view something else by. The messenger which, by itself, is not the important thing. Light bouncing off something tells you something is there. Light through a lens is bent into an image, and recorded, and again tells you something is there. I think this is the most common view of light. As a kid I was interested in mechanical things, and needed light in order to find the screw, needed light to read the green phosphor display on our now ancient Apple II, but didn’t really notice how light interacts with things. These interactions are right there in front of us but unless pointed out are easily missed. The phosphor-based tv that we all watched is a complicated dance of electrons and photons, and its reverse process, the photoelectric effect, wasn’t even discovered until 100 years ago. Even just the simple process of light scattering can lead to a beautiful sunset, a rainbow, and the rich tones in a photograph. But as scientists we always look deeper, and looking deeper at scattering shows the scattered light can carry the actual molecular signature of the compound that scattered it. Strong light fields can change the material world in a way that then changes the light, in a complex feedback loop. Even in your body, light is the conduit for one of the most deep cognitive interactions you have with the external world. When you see something, you see the distribution of photons, arranged by space and separated by energy into bins of color, converted into electrical signals by your eye, and then mapped into a 3d representation of the world by neurological systems that we still don’t fully understand.
Such is the nature of light. While it is fascinating to dwell on how such wiggles in electromagnetic field pervade our life, on a more practical side, scientists usually need to produce something of use. This means in a laboratory, we push towards not only understanding, but manipulating and analyzing fields of light. To go further, we exploit the interactions between light and the material world. This can produce higher resolution in microscopes, light-switchable interactions to assay specific molecular changes, or unlock new communications technologies. My view on it all has more or less evolved from “please turn on the light so I can see what I’m doing” to the current state where “light is what I am doing”.

March, 10th, 2015
Nicholas Smith
Immunology Frontier Research Centre

The 5th super light school / 第5回こども科学の教室 スーパー光塾

posted Feb 9, 2015, 10:25 PM by 田中千秋   [ updated Feb 10, 2015, 12:36 AM by 倉田早織 ]

Calculus, quantum mechanics and theory of relativity. We always face some difficult words and complicated mathematics when studying science. But I think the original aim of studying science was quite simple. When we see a new phenomenon, we just feel why the strange but interesting phenomenon happens and think if there are any rules. I think that’s the reason why ancient people started science. However, through our studying in junior high school to university with complicated theories and bothersome experiments, we no longer recall that kind of pure impressions, don’t we?

We held the 5th science school for kids called “the super light school” on Nov. 24th 2014.The pure impressions have come up in my mind when seeing the kid’s smiles and their looks of amazement. The super light school offers kids classes with experiments on light and provides interesting toys using nature of light. In this time, more than 300 children applied to attend for 50 seats. We have 40 staffs for the 50 kids and all the staffs are students and postdocs in Osaka university. We focused to let the kids know the fun and fundamental science of light 7 months before.
The 5th super light school provided 5 classes which could connect the nature of light to the kids' interests. (Website: ) 

Here I would like to introduce an example “enlarger ray gun with glass ball”. To project enlarged images or movies on a wall, we usually use a projector. And lens are usually used for projector to enlarge images. We prepared a hand-made kit which replaced the lens and the light source with a glass  ball and LED light, respectively. Kids contracted the kits by themselves and drew something on a plastic board which they wanted to enlarge. When illuminating the drawing of kids by the enlarger ray gun, the drawings were projected all over the wall. The kids were so excited and smiled with their enlarged drawings.
Hope the kids who attended to the super light school remember these experiences and the joy of science through our classes when they grow up.Thank you very much for joining our 5th super light school!!

Ryosuke OKETANI, Kawata Laboratory





河田・藤田研究室 博士後期課程1桶谷亮介

Hatsuyume: my first dream of the New Year/初夢 2015

posted Jan 4, 2015, 9:08 PM by 田中千秋   [ updated Jan 4, 2015, 10:08 PM ]

Hatsuyume: my first dream of the New Year  Jan. 1, 2015

Artist is my longed-for job. I had longing to be a painter or a photographer. It is only a fantastic story, though, as I had never learned painting at classes and art clubs. Even taking nice photos at all, I have bought lots of cameras so far. I have chosen the Applied Physics Department of Osaka University, because I knew that it is well-known in the study of "light". I was fascinated at the pure color of the laser in the laboratory experiment. After being assigned to a laboratory, I concentrated on development of photographs in a dark room, occasionally, all day long forgetting all about the time. When photos were emerging on printing papers under an enlarger, I was thrilled always by myself. Also I was fascinated by starry sky and micrographs. Dissertation was a study of image processing. The theme was to restore from a blurred photo a sharp image by means of applied mathematics. At that time, AFM, femtosecond laser and blue LED were not invented and fluorescent proteins were not discovered and there were no personal computers and CCDs. Only soldering iron, punch card and paper tape reader and photographic development in darkroom were available technologies. Still there was no air conditioning in the laboratory.

Time passed and it is now in 2015. Even now, I am fascinated by the world 1) of color and form light makes. Developing microscopes to see much smaller things than I could see when I was a student, we are keen to see,   read and manipulate nano world by utilizing photon. Such an idea could be out of date, but Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the year 2014 was awarded to super-resolution fluorescence microscopy. My research is not related with observing stained fluorescent molecules, but is super-resolution microscopy to image the Raman scattered light from molecules constituting the substance using a metal needle with nano-scale apex. I dream to see natural and artificial world as they were with nano-scale resolution. This year, 2015, is 200 years after the Fresnel‘s wave theory of light and 150 years after the Maxwell’s electromagnetic wave theory of light and thus it is to celebrate as "international year of light" all over the world. It is privilege of Osaka University Photonics Center to participate these events and to support as a sponsor, only one from Japanese universities so far. My dream may not be bad as I think. What is your Hatsuyume? Is it likely to come true?

Satoshi Kawata

Executive Director of Photonics Center, Osaka University

初夢 Jan. 1, 2015



1)河田 聡 「三四郎が見た光と色の科学」 Oplus E:2009年1月号

build a worldwide student network through student conference / 学生カンファレンスで世界に広がるネットワークを作る

posted Sep 30, 2014, 4:46 PM by 田中千秋   [ updated Sep 30, 2014, 6:16 PM ]

Hello, I am Takayuki Umakoshi, the president of Osaka University OSA/SPIE student chapter. Last year, our chapter and Photonics Center organized the student conference “Asia Student Photonics Conference 2013” to build student networks among Asian countries. This year, we had a theme “Expand the network from Asia to the world”.

After due deliberation, our chapter decided to hold the IONS in Hokkaido University because it is actively taking place worldwide, and IONS has been never held in Japan!  Also, the international conference “JSAP-OSA joint symposia” was held right after this student conference in Hokkaido University. So, we thought that it could bring more students who were planning to attend the symposia to the IONS. Moreover, because we could collocate JSAP Student Meeting and Asia Core Student Meeting, we could invite more students in wide range network. We have no doubt that these factors led to successful result to make this conference attractive for many students from all over the world, and also to achieve our goal. We are very pleased to host IONS, and to have this opportunity. Besides, we also organized Asia Core Student Meeting 1st round at Photonics Center in Osaka before the Hokkaido meeting. The past two years, we have made strong network through the Asia Core student seminars in Osaka. The 1st round gave us the wonderful opportunity to reinforce the student network with our neighbor countries in Asia too.

              It was a four-day conference in total, which is the longest event we have ever held, and 63 students attended from 11 countries worldwide. More than two-third of them were foreign students, and we got attendees even from the outside of Asia such as the U.S., the U.K., Spain, Morocco and Armenia, which made this conference more international. Furthermore, we prepared the special conference program which attendees were able to easily build networks through. We are very sure that we built the huge student network spreading all over the world.

              I believe that this great success could not happen without the strong network among our chapter members. Most of all things have been done by students such as preparation for conference room, invitation of speakers and funding. Even though chapter members were very busy with their own research, we have cooperated with each other for the success of this conference. We could make this great conference successful thanks to the strong network among chapter friends who have spent hard but fun research life together. Through organizing this conference, I could have learned the power of the network more than I expected.

              I wish the power of the network built in the IONS among students will contributes to developments on science and society in the near future.

October 1st, 2014
Takayuki Umakoshi, the president of Osaka University OSA/SPIE student chapter

大阪大学OSA/SPIE学生チャプター代表の馬越です。昨年、アジア圏の学生間ネットワーク構築を目指しAsia Student Photonics Conference 2013を学生チャプターとフォトニクスセンターで開催しました。そして今年、我がチャプターは「ネットワークをアジアから世界へ」という目標を掲げました。

 世界中から学生に来てもらうためにはどうしたらと考え、今回IONSという世界的に活動している学生会議(今回が日本初!)に学生チャプターはチャレンジしました。国際会議JSAP-OSA joint symposiaに付随する形で北海道大学にて開催したのも、世界中から参加者を呼び込むためです。さらに、JSAP Student Meeting(応用物理学会学生チャプター主催)とAsia Core Student Meeting(大阪大学学生チャプター・フォトニクスセンター主催)を同時開催することによって、学生コミュニティの垣根を越えた大規模なネットワークの構築を目指しました。もちろん過去2年アジアコアセミナーを開催して築いてきた近隣国であるアジアの学生間の関係を深めるのも大事です。上記会議の前にはフォトニクスセンターにてAsia Core Student Meeting 1st roundも開催しました。




大阪大学 OSA/SPIE 学生チャプター代表  馬越 貴之

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