The Japan Society of Applied Physics

Academic Roadmap


Chair of the Future Vision Reviewing Working Group
Yasuhiko Arakawa (The University of Tokyo)

Applied physics is a state-of-the-art academic research area based on the fusion and appliance of fundamental physical theories with related fields such as electronics, chemistry and materials science. Specifically, and with a main focus on electronics, applied physics has contributed to the strengthening of the economic competitiveness of industry in our country by resolving many technology related industrial issues.

The future evolution of applied physics will herald the development of new research areas, sow the seeds for further industrial advances, and stimulate the young minds that will inherit and lead the field in the next generation. To realize this, it is first necessary to clarify a future vision of applied physics (and related fields) and outline the direction of subsequent research whilst considering the needs of future society.

The Japan Society of Applied Physics (JSAP) has been formulating such a vision, and drawing up an academic roadmap of applied-physics-related fields, since 2006. Whilst applied physics researchers play their roles on the basis of their individual vision, philosophy, and sense of originality, a common goal is necessary to maximize the social significance of their total research output. Therefore it is crucial to integrate, review and direct the visions of each researcher within the framework of a process to achieve such a common goal. This is where the academic roadmap comes in, as it will help to develop new integrated fields, encourage researchers to pull together, and in turn facilitate the introduction of academic-based innovation into society.

In October 2006, a Future Vision Reviewing Working Group (WG) was established within the Future Planning Committee of JSAP. The WG discussed the future of applied physics research, and clarified the ideal role that it should play in the future. As a result, the "Academic roadmap in the field of Applied Physics" (first edition), covering 19 technology fields, was published in March 2008. The enthusiasm of leading researchers in each field (totaling more than 300 persons) has led to the priceless outcome of providing strategy, vision, and guidance for the future of applied physics.

A revised version of the roadmap, which had meanwhile been discussed at several occasions such as the JSAP annual meetings, was published in March 2011. "Integrated future vision roadmaps", encompassing the integration of technologies related to the environment and energy (as well as others), were included in the revised edition. It is anticipated that the successful navigation of these integrated roadmaps will enable us to overcome the boundaries of existing disciplines. The revised roadmap has since been publicized widely through the cooperation of large-scale exhibitions, such as C-Tech.

In order to effectively shape the future, it is important to understand the flow of great achievements and developments that have shaped the past. To that end, a "development history map of applied physics" has been drawn up and added to the roadmap. Although performing a thorough historical appraisal of past achievements is difficult, we believe that a complete and objective map has been created. This is critical for garnering a deeper understanding, and really emphasizes the context of the future academic roadmap.

Of course, the academic roadmap will be continually revised to reflect the dynamic development of science in the future. Thus, it will be possible for everyone to always share and have input towards this vision. I sincerely hope, and expect, that the future vision academic roadmap will contribute to the development of society itself.

Finally, I deeply appreciate the efforts of those who were in charge of developing the road map in each field, and I would like to express my gratitude to all the related personnel of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the secretariats of the society.

Element technology clusters of applied physics