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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan 12, 2006    #010
Contact: Noemi Rojas
(816) 235-1520

Science magazine features UMKC and Tokyo collaborative research

A collaborative effort between researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the University of Tokyo in Japan has produced results featured in a leading science journal.

The January 13th issue of Science has published a research paper authored by post-doctoral fellow Jun Chen and professor Wai-Yim Ching, both of UMKC; as well as post-doctoral fellow James Buban of the University of Tokyo.

The research focuses on the determination of microstructures in an important industrial material called alumina, or alumina oxide (a fine, white salt-like material known in mining, ceramic, and materials science communities).

Ching, a UMKC Curators’ Professor of Physics, said the broader result of the paper is that researchers can now see the precise locations of specific atoms in materials using powerful microscopes. It also demonstrates that researchers can now do highly sophisticated calculations on complex materials using supercomputers.

“The techniques and approaches used in the research can be applied to other areas such as biomaterials, bioengineering and life science,” Ching said. ”This new understanding on materials leads to better materials and devices that benefit lives for all people and the society in general.”

The research at UMKC is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

John Baumann, Ph.D., UMKC Vice Provost for Research, said, “The upcoming paper is significant for many reasons including that it’s a fabulous example of interdisciplinary research. It combines the disciplines of physics and engineering; unites the skills and knowledge of experimentalists and computational theorists; highlights a success in international collaboration; and, of course, it is being published in a top-tier journal.”

Ching's counterpart in Tokyo is Professor Yuichi Ikuhara. Ikuhara leads one of the best research groups in the world investigating grain boundaries in alumina, and he has some of the best equipment for research in this area, said Ching.

Science magazine is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and has a circulation of more than 129,000. The magazine is touted as the world's leading journal of original scientific research, global news, and commentary.

The paper is titled "Grain Boundary Strengthening in Alumina by Rare Earth Impurities."

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs. This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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