4th Ludwig Boltzmann Forum Tokyo 2012

Energy. Entropy. Leadership.

Monday, 20th February 2012 at the Embassy of Austria in Tokyo

Ludwig Boltzmann Forum Tokyo 2012 – Program

  • 14:00 Welcome by Thomas Loidl, Chargé d’affaires ad interim of the Austrian Embassy
  • 14:10 Gerhard Fasol: today’s agenda"
  • 14:20 – 14:40 Tatsuo Masuda
    Professor at Nagoya University of Commerce and Business, served as Director of Oil Markets and Emergency Preparedness of IEA
    "New energy architecture for Japan"
  • 14:40 – 15:20 Kiyoshi Kurokawa (schedule permitting)
    Chairman of Japan’s Parliamentary Commission on the Fukushima Disaster, served as Special Cabinet Advisor on Science, Technology and Innovation
    "Fukushima crisis fueling the third opening of Japan"
  • 15:50 – 16:10 Hideaki Watanabe
    Corporate Vice-President, Nissan Motor Company, in charge of Electric Vehicles and Zero Emission Business
    "The new energy management supported by Electric Vehicles"
  • 16:10 – 16:30 Robert Geller
    Professor of Geophysics University of Tokyo, seismologist. First ever tenured non-Japanese faculty member at the University of Tokyo
    "Understanding earthquakes: let’s put the physics back into geophysics!"
  • 16:50 – 17:30 Gerhard Fasol
    Physicist. CEO of Eurotechnology Japan KK, served as Assoc Professor at Tokyo University and Lecturer at Cambridge University and Manager of Hitachi Cambridge R&D lab
    "Ludwig Boltzmann and the laws governing energy"
  • 17:30 – 17:50 Jonathan M Dorfan
    Particle physicist
    President, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, OIST. Served as Director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
    "New Solutions for Energy – OIST’s R&am;D Program"
  • Followed by reception (private, invitation only)

Registration: latest 15 February 2011
Further information:
Gerhard Fasol, Contact by email
Peter Storer, Minister for Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Austria


Tatsuo Masuda: "New energy architecture for Japan"

Tatsuo Masuda described how Japan’s energy strategy and policy was until recently determined more or less behind closed doors by a group of about 100 insiders, of which Tatsuo Masuda has been one. This situation could continue as long as nothing went wrong.

Atomic energy was introduced to Japan via the USA, and instead of growing nuclear technology over an extended period of time within Japan, policians decided on a very short time schedule, which made it impossible to develop nuclear technology within Japan, and left purchase of ready-made nuclear power-plants and adoption of nuclear power technology from the USA as the only option.

Tatsuo Masuda predicts the "democratization" of electrical power generation in Japan. While at present almost all electrical power in Japan is produced by regional monopoly companies, in the future a development is likely, where many organizations, corporations, and private citizens will take part, or even may take over the main task or producing electrical energy in Japan.

Hideaki Watanabe: "The new energy management supported by Electric Vehicles"

Hideki Watanabe explained Nissan’s Leaf electrical vehicle program, and the associated energy technologies and businesses. During the coffee break, participants studied a Lead car, and an animated discussion took place about advantages and disadvantages of electrical cars, and in particular the Lead with respect to cold weather performance and other extreme conditions

Mr Watanabe explained that the Leaf electric car is the center of an energy management system, where the battery of Leaf electric car is an integral part of the energy management of the owner’s household.

Robert Geller: "Understanding earthquakes: let’s put the physics back into geophysics!"

Robert Geller calls for an return to the principles of physics in understanding earth quakes and in preparing for future disasters, instead of following positions based on political or funding priorities.

Robert Geller for a long time has been arguing for the view, that the timing, location and strength of earthquakes cannot be predicted due to fundamental principles of physics, and the nature of the earth. Robert demonstrated his arguments by bending a pencil in front of us (see photos below). While the stress distribution and other details can be calculated with precision, it is not possible to predict the time and the way the pencil breaks with accuracy. Robert argues that in a similar way, earth quakes can also not be predicted, because earth quakes are essentially in the mathematical sense chaotic phenomena.

Robert explained how a group of earth scientists years ago promised that they could predict earth quakes with the purpose of obtaining politically motivated funding for their research. They were successful in obtaining continuous research funding with the explicit purpose of developing methods to predict earthquakes. Once this funding started flowing for many years now, it is very difficult for scientists obtaining this funding to put the possibility of earthquake prediction in question.

Robert also discussed official earth quake risk maps, and explained that many of the strongest earth quakes occur in areas which are officially designated as low risk areas.

Robert called for a reassessment of earth quake policies and preparations for future disasters, using the most up-to-date results of earth-science, and to review outdated positions, and abandon those positions, which have been shown to be invalid using established methods of physics.

Gerhard Fasol: "Ludwig Boltzmann and the laws governing energy"

Gerhard Fasol reviewed Ludwig Boltzmann’s life and work, and particular his life-long work on the fundamental laws of physics governing energy.

Jonathan M Dorfan: "New Solutions for Energy – OIST’s R&D Program"

Jonathan Dorfan introduced OIST, The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, which has just recently been accredited as a Graduate University by the Japanese Ministry of Education, and introduced several research programs in the field of energy generation.

Jonathan explained the history of OIST, and OIST’s pioneering position as an English speaking international Graduate University in Japan. In particular, OIST has no Departments which would create barriers between research groups, instead the emphasis is on cross-disciplinary cooperation supported by the latest instrumentats and research tools. According to Jonathan, OIST succeeds in attracting most outstanding staff and students – surprisingly current market conditions seem to make it easier to attract outstanding research staff than students – the market for attracting outstanding students seems to be more competitive than for research staff. OIST offers scholarships for students, many or all of which are graduates from top ranking undergraduate schools.

Ludwig Boltzmann Forum Tokyo 2012 – Photos