Our main research subjects are the elucidation
of surface and interface structures of ice, and
pattren formations of snow and ice crystals. Ice
surfaces are covered with a quasi-liquid layer (a
thin melt layer) at temperatures near the melting
point. This layer significantly influences such
diverse phenomena as the growth and pattern
formation of snow crystals, acid snow formation,
the ozone depletion reaction in the ozone layer,
thunderstrom electrification, and frost heaving.
In addition, we also study how the microscopic
structure of the ice-water interface relates to the
melt growth mechanism, the pattern formation
under nonlinear and nonequilibrium conditions,
and cold-tolerant mechanisms of animals.
Furthermore, crystal growth experiments under
microgravity affects convection and the diffusion
field near growth interfaces. Also, an ice crystal
growth experiment in the space shuttle is
scheduled for 2002.
These research subjects are very important for
the fields of basic physics and crystal growth, as
well as the research fields of environmrntal
science and glaciology.