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Seven IBS Research Centers Lead World-Class Research in Physics
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Seven IBS Research Centers Lead World-Class Research in Physics

Institute for Basic Science, Korea

Established in November 2011, the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) is moving forward to promote and secure creative knowledge for future generations through world-class research in fundamental sciences. Under the leadership of Professor Se-Jung Oh, the president of IBS, the institute is now composed of 20 research centers, the Rare Isotope Science Project (RISP) which is constructing a heavy-ion accelerator called "RAON", the National Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and a secretariat. In total, there are more than 900 researchers, students, and supporting staff, with an annual budget of 250 million USD. A brief introduction of the IBS research centers which are dedicated to research in physics follows:

Center for Underground Physics (CUP)
Director: Yeongduk Kim

Advancing our knowledge of dark matter is necessary in order to fathom the origin and structure of the universe, because 96% of the universe consists of dark matter and dark energy. CUP is performing experiments to search directly for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) which offer the most plausible explanation as to the nature of dark matter. CUP will also search for the neutrinoless double beta decays of Mo-100 isotopes by developing ultra-low background Mo based crystals. CUP will achieve both of the research goals by developing low-temperature sensors with excellent energy resolution and the power to distinguish the signals from the abundant background events. CUP will construct a new underground laboratory deeper than 1,000 meters.

Center for Theoretical Physics of the Universe (CTPU)
Director: Kiwoon Choi

The value of fundamental science comes largely from the intrinsic desire of human beings to understand the ultimate origin and the basic laws of the universe. The goal of CTPU is to discover new knowledge in the territories of theoretical particle physics and cosmology, which may be relevant to answering the big questions about the fundamental laws of nature and the origin of the universe. The main research themes of CTPU include new physics beyond the standard model of particle physics, astroparticle physics associated with the dark side of the universe, early universe cosmology, and the formal or phenomenological aspects of string theories and quantum field theories.

Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research (CAPP)
Director: Yannis Semertzidis

Axions are required to solve the strong CP-problem, i.e. the fact that the quantum chromodynamics (QCD) Lagrangian predicts a very large CP-violation in strong interactions, while the experimental limits on the neutron electric dipole moment (EDM) indicate this CPviolation is smaller by at least ten orders of magnitude than expected. CAPP will play a significant role in the axion research community worldwide by establishing a state of the art axion dark matter research program. The research center will contribute significantly to the proton EDM experiment, as well as to muon g-2 experimental efforts, with a unifying theme of "Precision Physics in Storage Rings." Theoretical work on axions, strong CP-problem, cosmology, and other current subjects may also complement the experimental effort.

Center for Artificial Low Dimensional Electronic Systems (CALDES)
Director: Han Woong Yeom

The spectacular developments of information technology in recent decades, which has resulted in devices as small as 20 nm in size, has also revealed the fundamental limitations of downsizing. In order to overcome such limitations, CALDES aims to create atomically controlled artificial materials such as wires, layers, ultra-thin films, heterointerfaces, and multilayers that can host novel low-dimensional electronic systems, and devise methods to gain ultimate atomic-scale control over these materials and their local and global electronic properties. CALDES also plans to discover new types of quantum matter originating from exotic symmetries and orders of low-dimensional electrons, and address the physics issues posed by quantum phase fluctuations, competitions, and orders of low-dimensional electrons.

Center for Correlated Electron Systems (CCES)
Director: Tae Won Noh

Various quantum phenomena, including magnetism and superconductivity, occur in oxide-based materials owing to the strong interaction among electrons. If these strongly-correlated materials form interfaces with other materials, it is also possible to discover new physical phenomena. The primary goal of CCES is to conduct systematic and organized research into oxidebased materials of both bulk and thin film forms whose characteristics are either rare or absent in nature. To achieve this goal, CCES is performing systematic fundamental studies on physical phenomena of these strongly-correlated materials. CCES also provides opportunities for students and postdoctoral researchers to conduct cutting-edge research in truly international environments.

Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics (CINAP)
Director: Young Hee Lee

One of science's final frontiers is the nature of nanostructured materials: quantum dots, nanowires, nanotubes, and graphene grown from the self-assembly of atoms and molecules. The goals of CINAP are to perform outstanding research in the fields of fundamental and applied physics, with a particular focus given to low-dimensional structures, and to foster the development of young scientists who are committed to nanophysics and nanoscience. The research center also aims to establish an interdisciplinary research center on nanostructures, incorporating condensed matter physics and material science. The CINAP will establish the research fields of synthesis of hybrid nanostructures and their new functional properties, structural analysis, photo-thermoelectrics, correlation nanoscopy, and computational modeling.

Center for Relativistic Laser Science (CoReLS)
Director: Chang Hee Nam

It is a challenging task to reveal the physics of relativistic and ultra-relativistic laser-matter interactions. CoReLS is examining the fundamental physical processes in atoms, molecules, and plasmas, exploring subatomic entities occurring in an ultra-fast timescale, and developing high-energy, ultra-short particle beams and radiation sources. Sophisticated methods of controlling the spatio-temporal structure of ultra-intense laser pulses will be developed to manipulate relativistic laser-matter interactions accurately. Such developments will allow CoReLS to achieve its goals by steering the interaction processes such as relativistic harmonic generation at extreme orders, and mono-energetic electron acceleration over GeV, as well as energetic proton generation with narrow bandwidths.

The IBS is currently accepting applications for directorship positions in the designated research areas, such as theoretical fundamental physics, and condensed-matter and complex systems theory. More information on the IBS research centers and designated research areas can be found at www.ibs.re.kr/en/.

Fig. 1: IBS CINAP develops a stretchable graphene-carbon nanotube transistor using wrinkled oxidized film (Published in Nature Materials in March 2013).

AAPPS Bulletin        ISSN: 2309-4710
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