The Physical Society of Japan
The Physical Society of Japan (JPS) is an organization of about 16,000 research scientists, educators, and engineers in physics from Japan and abroad. JPS conducts a variety of activities to present the latest research results by its members in Japan and abroad and to provide benefits to members in the conduct of their own research. As of 2020, about 48% of members work in universities, 12% in public research institutes, 10% in private corporations, and about 15% are graduate and undergraduate students.
JPS was first founded in 1877 as the Tokyo Mathematics Society, Japan's first academic society of natural sciences. Considering the fact that the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG) was founded in 1845 and the American Physical Society (APS) in 1899, the foresight of our predecessors is a point of pride. With the publication of the Mathematics and Physics Journal as a European-language journal from its fourth volume (1888-1891), the society has, from its inception, made significant contributions to the modernization of Japan through world-oriented academic research and developments in scholarship and science in Japan. After the Physico-Mathematical Society of Japan was dissolved following the end of World War II, JPS was established in 1946, marking a new start. As a result of the world-class, cutting-edge research of its members even under the restricted conditions present before WWII, the Nobel Prizes in Physics awarded to Hideki Yukawa and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga during the post-war reconstruction period created a "science boom" among the people in Japan. The role played by JPS in laying the foundation for the development and growth of Japan since has been substantial.
With major contributions to the world physics community and as a core academic institution on par with its counterparts in Europe and the United States, JPS has had an extensive impact on research in physics around the world and has been active both in Japan and internationally. As new academic centers emerge in rapidly developing Asian countries in recent years, the world is rising expectations for JPS.
JPS has concluded reciprocal agreements with other societies around the world, including the APS, Korean Physical Society and DPG, allowing members of these societies to participate in activities with equal rights and privileges. As a member of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS), JPS also promotes international cooperation for the advancement of physics.
The Nihon Butsuri Gakkaishi (Butsuri) is a monthly journal published by JPS in Japanese that provides information on developments in the field of physics to members in an easy and practical format. JPS also publishes the Journal of the Physical Society of Japan (JPSJ) and Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (PTEP) monthly in English, as well as the JPS Conference Proceedings from international conferences, workshops, or symposiums on a less-regular basis, all of which contain reports on research results in fields of physics submitted from both Japan and abroad. Papers are also selected from among those published in journals based on recommendations from the Editorial Board and plain commentaries are prepared for researchers in peripheral and other fields, which are introduced in JPS Hot Topics and JPSJ News and Comments. JPS also publishes "Physics Education in University" three times a year to facilitate the exchange of information on education in physics, "Selected Papers in Physics", which contains highly valuable materials arranged by theme, "Proceedings" on related international conferences, and various books on physics.
JPS organizes two major meetings annually in the spring and autumn to provide members with opportunities to present and discuss their research. More than 5,000 members participate in each meeting. JPS's regular lectures for the general public present the topics of the day in a straightforward way that can be easily understood by those in and outside the field, from the basics of physics to the latest achievements.
JPS also plays an important role in the progress and development of physics in both Japan and overseas by studying the ideal format and style of physics education, lobbying related organizations and institutions, organizing international conferences, promoting exchange and cooperation with physics societies overseas, and interacting with international academic groups and research institutions.
Another important role of JPS is to promote collaborative activities with society and education through physics. JPS conducts a variety of activities to candidly communicate with students and the local community about physics and to spark their interest in the field. Such events include Public Science Lectures, Online Physics Lectures, Public Lectures for youth and adults, and the Wonders of Nature: Physics Lab for elementary and junior high school students. A number of high school students present their own research at the Jr. Session which is held in conjunction with a JPS meeting, where they are stimulated and inspired by the questions and comments they receive from physicists at the forefront of their field.
Selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as part of the ministry's "Project to Promote Diversity in Career Paths in Science and Technology" in 2007, the activities of the Support Center for Career Development continued on until 2019. Since then, JPS has organized career development events to connect graduate students and researchers with industries and society as part of the Promotion Program for Next Generations in Physics. The significance of JPS's efforts to support the career paths of human resources in science and technology goes beyond simply opening up opportunities and providing support for young talented people to enter a variety of professional fields. JPS hopes to demonstrate the power of physics in more diverse fields and to explore new and richer paths for physics in the future by engaging in the promotion of this project with all of our strengths as an academic society.