BOX 1: Research Themes in CMMP

  • The quantum mechanics of large, interacting systems

  • The structure and properties of materials at reduced dimensionality

  • Materials with increasing levels of compositional, structural, and functional complexity

  • Nonequilibrium processes and the relationship between molecular and mesoscopic properties

  • Soft condensed matter and the physics of large molecules, including biological structures

  • Controlling electrons and photons in solids on the atomic scale

  • Understanding magnetism and superconductivity

A number of actions are required to maintain and enhance the productivity of the field of condensed-matter and materials physics. These actions involve each level of the hierarchy of research modalities and the interactions among the various levels and the various performers. The principal recommendations of the cmmittee are summarized as follows:

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), and other agencies that support research should continue to nurture the core research that is at the heart of condensed-matter and materials physics. The research themes listed in Box 1 provide a guide to the forefronts of this work.

  • The agencies that support and direct research in CMMP should plan for increased investment in modernization of the CMMP research infrastructure at universities and government laboratories.

  • The NSF should increase its investment in state-of-the-art instrumentation and fabrication capabilities, including centers for instrumentation R&D, nanofabrication, and materials synthesis and processing at universities. The DOE should strengthen its support for such programs at national laboratories and universities.

  • The gap in neutron sources in the United States should be addressed in the short term by upgrading existing neutron-scattering facilities and in the longer term by moving forward with the construction of the Spallation Neutron Source.

  • Support for operations and upgrades at synchrotron facilities, including research and development on fourth-generation light sources, should be strengthened.

  • The broad utilization of synchrotron and neutron facilities across scientific disciplines and sectors should be considered when agency budgets are established.

  • Federal agencies should provide incentives for formarion of partnerships among universities and government and industry laboratories that carry out research in condensed-matter and materials physics.

  • Universities should endeavor to enhance their students' understanding of the role of knowledge integration and transfer as well as knowledge creation. In this area, experience is the best teacher.

Action on these issues will allow us to capture the opportunities for intellectual progress and technological impact that continue to emerge in condensed-matter and materials physics.

Materials R&D in Industry

Cherry A. Murray

Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies

The Changing Role for Physical Science Research in Industry in the “Information Age”

Today industry funds about two-thirds of total U.S. R&D, amounting to nearly $130 billion in 1997. The U.S. government supplies the remaining one-third of the funds spent on R&D in the United States (nearly $65 billion). Of federal funding in 1997, about 35 percent (roughly $23 billion) went directly to industry, 28 percent to national laboratories, 22 percent to universities, and the remainder to federally funded R&D centers and nonprofit organizations. Today, total federal funding of industrial R&D has declined to about three-fifths of its high point of a decade ago. “Blue sky” corporate research has declined sharply in this decade in all economic sectors, to about one-tenth to one-third of its 1988 extent, depending on the company. Also

NOTE: This article was prepared from written material provided to the Solid State Sciences Committee by the speaker.



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