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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2007. Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics: The Science of the World Around Us. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11967.
Page 243
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2007. Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics: The Science of the World Around Us. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11967.
Page 244

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A Statement of Task A comprehensive assessment of the current status and future prospects of the field of condensed-matter and materials physics (CMMP) and its connections to other areas of science and technology is proposed. This assessment, CMMP 2010, is part of a broader study, Physics 2010, the latest decadal assessment and future outlook of the field of physics, conducted by the Board on Physics and Astronomy under the auspices of the National Research Council (NRC). This proposed study identifies fundamental theoretical and experimental challenges in CMMP and their relationship with other areas of physics. Because CMMP has proven to have great societal benefit, the potential applications of CMMP and its strong connections to fields that are closer to technology will also be explored. The committee will be charged to produce a comprehensive report on the status of CMMP. The committee’s report shall: 1. Review the field of CMMP, emphasize recent accomplishments, and identify new opportunities and compelling scientific questions, connecting to other recent studies where appropriate. 2. Identify the potential future impact of CMMP on other scientific fields and current and emerging technologies. 3. Consider how CMMP has contributed and will likely contribute to meeting national societal needs such as in education, workforce, and healthcare. 4. Identify, discuss, and suggest priorities for construction, purchase, and operation of tools and facilities ranging from instrumentation for the in- dividual investigator to the national user facilities. 243

244 C o n d e n s e d - M at t e r and M at e r i a l s P h ys i c s 5. Make recommendations on how the U.S. research enterprise might realize the full potential of condensed-matter and materials physics research. 6. Examine the structure and level of the current research effort in condensed- matter and materials physics. Obtain objective information on current status and trends in the following areas: (1) the performing institutions: government, universities, and industry; (2) different levels of aggregation of researchers ranging from principal investigators through small groups and large teams at centers; (3) the role of the research community and performing institutions in initiating research; and (4) the relationship between research opportunities and the current structure of the research effort. Analyze this information, make comparisons internationally, and draw relevant conclusions.

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The development of transistors, the integrated circuit, liquid-crystal displays, and even DVD players can be traced back to fundamental research pioneered in the field of condensed-matter and materials physics (CMPP). The United States has been a leader in the field, but that status is now in jeopardy. Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics, part of the Physics 2010 decadal survey project, assesses the present state of the field in the United States, examines possible directions for the 21st century, offers a set of scientific challenges for American researchers to tackle, and makes recommendations for effective spending of federal funds. This book maintains that the field of CMPP is certain to be principle to both scientific and economic advances over the next decade and the lack of an achievable plan would leave the United States behind. This book's discussion of the intellectual and technological challenges of the coming decade centers around six grand challenges concerning energy demand, the physics of life, information technology, nanotechnology, complex phenomena, and behavior far from equilibrium. Policy makers, university administrators, industry research and development executives dependent upon developments in CMPP, and scientists working in the field will find this book of interest.

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