3rd Ludwig Boltzmann Symposium Tokyo 2011

Topic “Space and Energy and Ludwig Boltzmann”

on Thursday, 17th February 2011, Embassy of Austria, Tokyo.

  • 14:00 Welcome by Michael Haider, Cultural Counsellor of the Austrian Embassy
  • 14:10 – 14:40 Gerhard Fasol,
    “Ludwig Boltzmann: Pioneer of understanding Space and Energy”
  • 15:00 – 15:45 Tetsuhiko Ikegami, PhD
    Chairman, Space Activities Commission, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
    “Japan’s space activities and international space cooperation
  • 16:00 – 16:30 Kevin Yu
    Director of Asia Pacific, Tesla Motors Japan
    “The Tesla Motors Electric Car”
  • 16:30-17:00 Tatsuo Masuda
    Professor, Nagoya University of Commerce and Business, Advisor JAPEX, and Board Member SOC Corporation
    “Economics and Geopolitics of Climate Change
  • Followed by reception (private, invitation only)

Registration: latest 15 February
Further information:
Gerhard Fasol
Georg Poestinger, Counsellor, Austrian Embassy, Tel 03-3451-8281


Gerhard Fasol: “Ludwig Boltzmann: Pioneer of understanding Space and Energy”

Gerhard Fasol reviewed Ludwig Boltzmann’s pioneering work on space and energy, starting with and overview of Ludwig Boltzmann’s personal live. Boltzmann’s first scientific publication was “Über die Bewegung der Elektrizität in krummen Flächen” (propagation of electricity on curved surfaces) in 1865 at the age of 21 years. This work followed the publication of the Maxwell’s equations by James Clerk Maxwell, in 1861-1862, which of course were a very hot scientific event at that time. All together about 1/5th of Boltzmann’s work was about electro-magnetism.

Ludwig Boltzmann became Full Professor at the age of 25 years at the University of Graz, and at the age of 43 years, became Rektor (= President) of the University of Graz. He travelled extensively, including three trips to the United States of America. Without doubt his frequent travel also encouraged
Boltzmann’s interest in aviation. In Boltzmann’s days, it was not clear yet, which way aviation would be successful, or if it would be successful at all. There were three options: (1) baloons, (2) aerodynamic wings and airscrew, and (3) bird-like flapping wings. Boltzmann clearly prefered and supporte research for flight experiments with aerodynamic wings and airscrews – propellers.

Ludwig Boltzmann worked on the fundamentals of space science, he gave much thought on the irreversibility of time, and on whether space is Euclidic or curved.

Concluding his talk, Gerhard Fasol, reviewed what we can learn here in Japan from Ludwig Boltzmann. It is clear that Japan currently is in a very difficult situation with many challenges. Ludwig Boltzmann’s work clearly points to solutions for some of the challenges facing Japan now, and also indicates some paths to be taken.

Tetsuhiko Ikegami: “Japan’s space activities and international space cooperation”

Dr. Ikegami reminded us of the miracle, that our planet earth holds an only 50 km thin
atmosphere for about 4.5 billion years, and most people on earth are not even conscientously
aware of this miracle.

The Hayabusa space probe was on its way between 2003 – 2010 for more than 7 years, and landed in Australia on 13 June 2010, awaited with great expectation and sympathy. The Minister of MEXT praised JAXA, the Universities and small and medium entreprises, he explained that a Minister of MEXT had never before praised small and medium enterprises before, because in Japan’s silo ministry system, small and medium enterprises are the responsibility of the Economics and Industry Ministry, METI.

The interplanetary kite-craft IKAROS probe consists of a 14 meter x 14 meter sail, and was driven by light pressure from the sun – the light force corresponds to 0.1 gG. A thin-film solar battery and liquid crystals control the light reflection for steering.

In the Japanese population the space program finds great interest and sympathy. Hayabusa’s return encouraged people in an uncertain society. Several books about space and space exploration became best-sellers and were rewarded with prestigious book awards.

In the Japanese population the space program finds great interest and sympathy. Hayabusa’s return encouraged people in an uncertain society. Several books about space and space exploration became best-sellers and were rewarded with prestigious book awards.

Japan is an active participant in the international space station, contributing the Kibo module.

Japan did an exceptionally good job in space, with relatively small budgets compared to US and EU space budgets.

Dr. Ikegami concluded with an outlook on future programs, and on the key issues facing space exploration and space development

Kevin Yu: “The Tesla Motors Electric Car”

Tesla Motors wants to change the global car industry. Why did Tesla start by building an electric sports car, while the world does not really need another sports car? Tesla wanted to make electric cars exciting! After the Tesla Roadster, Tesla will introduce a family saloon, the Tesla S, at about 1/2 the price of the Roadster, and with three battery options to choose from for a driving range of 160, 200 and 300 miles.

Governments cannot pay people enough to bring a breakthrough for electric cars – instead consumers must want to buy electric cars without Government subsidies. To achieve such consumer demand, electric cars must be more exciting, better, higher performance and cheaper than traditional gasoline driven cars.

Tesla uses the same batteries as are used for laptop computers. Therefore advances in battery technology will happen independent of Tesla’s battery procurement. What matters instead is how Tesla uses and manages the energy. Therefore Tesla’s key intellectual property is in energy management and usage, not in battery technology itself.

Tetsuo Masuda: “Economics and Geopolitics of Climate Change”

Climate change originates from the beginning of industrialization in the 18th century. A key issue in order to achieve change in positive directions is political leadership. Since political leadership is usually focussed on short term issues in order to achieve victory at elections, it is necessary to impress the importance of climate change issues on political leaders. Natural disasters, food shortages, huge movements of refugees are events which impact political leaders to take action in the right direction. Developed and developing countries have different interests, and discussions are necessary in order resolve these differences of interest.


Dr. Ikegami, Chairman of Japan’s Space Commission, explains Japan’s space exploration program

Kevin Yu, Head of Asia-Pac for Tesla Motors, demonstrates a Tesla Roadster

Dr. Ikegami, Head of Japan’s Space Commission, test drives a Tesla Roadster

Kevin Yu, Head of Asia-Pac for Tesla Motors, explains Tesla Roadster’s battery and motor system

Michael Haider, Cultural Attache of the Austrian Embassy test drives a Tesla Roadster

Kevin Yu, Head of Asia-Pac for Tesla Motors, explains Tesla Motor’s strategy, while Dr. Ikegami, Head of Japan’s Space Commission listens

Tatsuo Masuda explains geopolitics of global warming



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