HARVESTING

THE FRUITS
OF INQUIRY

How Materials Discoveries
Improve Our Lives

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
                          OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES



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Harvesting the Fruits of Inquiry How Materials Discoveries Improve Our Lives

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant No. PHY1016162 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation and by Grant No. DE-SE00004240 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Additional copies of this report are available from the Board on Physics and Astronomy, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001; http://www.national-academies.org/bpa. Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Harvesting the Fruits of Inquiry How Materials Discoveries Improve Our Lives Ad Hoc Committee on Societal Benefits from Condensed Matter and Materials Research Board on Physics and Astronomy Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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Preface A s discussed in the Physics 2010 decadal survey Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics: The Science of the World Around Us (NRC, 2007), the field of condensed matter and materials research (CMMR) has played a key role in meeting our nation’s needs in a number of areas, including energy, health, and climate change. In the six years since the release of that report, the impact of CMMR in these areas has continued. The Board on Physics and Astronomy convened this committee, the ad hoc Committee on Societal Benefits from Condensed Matter and Materials Research, to produce a short booklet that highlights a few of the societal benefits that have flowed from research in this field. The full statement of task for this committee is as follows: An ad hoc committee will prepare a short report communicating the role that Condensed Matter and Materials Research (CMMR) plays in addressing societal needs.  The report will use 5-6 examples to illustrate how research in this area has contributed directly to efforts to address the nation’s needs in providing sustainable energy, meeting health needs, and addressing climate change issues.  The report will be written at a level that makes its main ideas accessible to key target audiences, including academia, government agencies, and Congress. This publication, the final report of the Committee on Societal Benefits from Condensed Matter and Materials Research, has been reviewed in draft form and we would like to thank the following individuals for their review comments: Venky Narayanamurti, who coordinated the review, and Sandra Greer (Mills College), Mas Subramanian (Oregon State University), Arthur Ramirez (University of California at Santa Cruz), Barbara Jones (IBM Almaden Research Center), and Jennifer Ouellette. Although the reviewers provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this brochure rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Andrea Liu, George Crabtree, Co-Chairs Committee on Societal Benefits from Condensed Matter and Materials Research