Muographix recently co-hosted a UTokyo Future Society Initiative Symposium at the University of Tokyo on the topic “Contribution of Nanotechnology to Sustainable Development Goals” in which Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka discussed his nanotechnology and muography research and how our understanding of elementary particles spawned both fields. 6 speakers gave presentations during this symposium: the topics included how scientific developments in Japanese nanotechnology has effected society and what the future of this technology will, issues which also effect the development of muography.
The nanostructures that have been created with nanotechnology and the imaging of muography are both applications of elementary particles. These techniques have also both had wide reaching effects on our modern society and are part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which have formed the basis for part of UTokyo’s Future Society Initiative. In the case of nanotechnology, SEM and TEM imagery are used to assess extremely minute mesoporous material structures and in the case of muography, muograph imagery is used to assess extremely large structures such as volcanoes; however, both methods require researchers to have knowledge of elementary particles and detectors for these particles.
After an overview of the nanotechnology technique and how it compares to the muography technique, Dr. Tanaka briefly discussed the principles of muography and applications to SDGs. Possibly muography is the only sustainable technology that uses cosmic energy that has existed since before the formation of our planet with muons, particles that constantly and uniformly participate down on Earth from our atmosphere. Its past and future contributions to SDGs, such as large-scale social infrastructure monitoring, cultural heritage monument/ruin/building conservation, and regional collaboration, have had very positive effects on society.
One example of a way that muography may be applied to SGDs is No. 11. “Sustainable city planning” (consisting of “resilient city planning”, “resource utilization / conservation in cities”, and “regional collaboration”). With the unique capability of muography to image seismic activity, volcanic eruptions, industrial plant such as nuclear reactors, industrial waste such as radioactive waste, and border monitoring technology – there is more potential for growth of the muography technique in these essential areas. Other SDGs such as No. 7, “Clean Energy”, No. 9 “Innovation = Creation of a new industry”, and No. 9 “Innovation = Creation of a new industry” were also discussed in this talk and with examples of projects that have begun already in Japan, Italy, Hungary, the U.K., Finland, Switzerland, Israel, the U.S.A and other countries worldwide.
A panel discussion took place after the 6 talks were concluded and the relationship between innovation and social implementation were discussed.
Nanotechnology and muography development are linked since in both cases, as direct implementation of these methods continues to expand, it also leads to the realisation of new and innovative technologies that have contributed to both fields.