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TRIZ in "fundamental Science"

TRIZ in “fundamental Science”

| On 01, Jan 2010

Message: 1529
Posted by: Vesselin Tonchev
Posted on: Monday, 5th January 2009

For me as a researcher was always interesting the TRIZ-application in “fundamental science”. If someone has information on the subject, please, let he share it!

In this specific context, TRIZ could be used for something unusual – to generate problems prior to solve them…

Message: 1531
Posted by: Mark Barkan
Posted on: Wednesday, 7th January 2009

Vesselin, your question is way to broad. Could you, please, provide more detail on this application?

Message: 1535
Posted by: Richard Platt
Posted on: Tuesday, 13th January 2009

Hi –

I think I understand your question well enough to answer it.

In a nutshell yes TRIZ can help with fundamental issues that you're looking at in creating problems, and thereby giving cause to generate solutions to solve those problems — that is what you're looking for input on right?

OK if that is the case then this requires some explantion. 

1st this is an advanced skill set in TRIZ, not a basic one IMNSHO, and I don't know what level of TRIZ training you've had. 

Advanced TRIZ topics such as TRIZ Root Cause Analysis need to be understood first, the best person who I have met & worked with on this topic is Sergie Ikovenko (from GEN3 Partners).  You'll also need to be able to do TRIZ Technology Forecasting (I personally prefer Darrell Mann's tools from , they are the least expensive and the quickest to generating potential solution paths). 

Darrell also has some awesome 'quick & dirty tools” that you can find in his small booklet the “TRIZ Companion”, to make sure that you have the basics down to start with.  If you don't have the basics down,…well forget about it you have no hope of getting to where you want to go.

I am also a fan of Bert Swersey's Methods – on Problem Finding, Bert's from Rensallear Polytechnic in upper New York.  You'll have find him on your own just as I had to. 

Also talk to Zinovy Royzen, a TRIZ Master in Seattle, he has done a boat load of work for Boeing, and they have used his approaches to effectively do this.  I would prefer that you  learn from who I learned from. 

These are some of my favorites that have helped me do “opporrtunity finding” which is at the heart of your question I beleive.

Best of Luck in your learning adventure.

-Richard Platt  [former Intel Innovation (global) Progam Manager & Senior Instructor of Innovation Methods]


Message: 1542
Posted by: Rene Kapik
Posted on: Tuesday, 20th January 2009

You may also want to goggle “Anticipatory Failure Determination or Prediction”.  The purpose is to predict possible failures (or problems) and then create solutions.

Good luck.

Message: 1543
Posted by: Richard Platt
Posted on: Tuesday, 20th January 2009

Yes I agree this is a basic method for getting what's being asked, but it is not the easiest to always to do. 

AFD by is the best one that I have seen to follow if you're going to use the AFD methodology.

All the best,

– Richard

Message: 1689
Posted by: QualityColorado
Posted on: Sunday, 8th November 2009

I would like to re-start discussion on this thread. I have read the current responses from earlier in 2009, and very much appreciate the information provided.

However, there is still a gap. I have not seen much published in terms of case studies in TRIZ in fundamental “hard” science applications, such as in areas that the Nobel prize committees follow (basic and applied research in chemistry, biochemistry, physics, biophysics, and so forth).

When I queried the RealInnovation site's search engine, I did not unearth much.

Does anyone out there have these kinds of case studies for basic and/or applied research in the “hard” sciences?

Best regards,


Message: 1695
Posted by: joserbn
Posted on: Tuesday, 10th November 2009


 that's a very nice question. i too am interested in applying TRIZ. the point is that 'hard science' is still a human activity like any other and all principles apply. even though you're in hard science, you can always break your problem down to a subset of features  and i have the feeling the subtasks can be TRIZed.

 i specifically work on a materials science national facility and have one case that maybe we could use this thread to explore with TRIZ! One of the main components that we use are called monochromators. these are pretty much silicon blocks (about 10x10x10 cm3) that live in a vacuum vessel and are blasted with a very intense light beam (about 1mmx1mm, 150W) and they need to be cooled to have a stable operation.

 due to historical reasons the cooling is with liquid nitrogen (88K = -195 deg C) and this creates a real technical challenge (with its obvious cost and operational implications) as the nitrogen-induced thermal cycles mess up with all vacuum seals and other problems. so is life and some hundreds of devices have been built under these constraints worldwide.

 so, by simply applying the 'the other way round' principle i started asking myself: could we heat the monochromators instead? i think we can! but my TRIZ analysis stopped here.

Message: 1721
Posted by: Kim Niles
Posted on: Tuesday, 22nd December 2009

Joserbn and QCO: 

There's so many case studies on this site, I'm sure you'll find something if you search.  However, when it comes to fundamental science applications of TRIZ, I suggest you search for case studies involving conflict resolution (i.e. the 39 technical conflict types and the 40 corresponding standard solutions).  My gut tells me that fundamental or revolutionary innovation (vs. evolutionary) is mainly developed in this way. 

I hope that helps,


Message: 1723
Posted by: QualityColorado
Posted on: Tuesday, 22nd December 2009


Thanks for your note. There are a lot of nifty case studies, for sure, pertaining to new product development and applied science and engineering; however, none that I have found on RealInnovation or elsewhere pertain to fundamental science.

My gut tells me the same thing that yours does: that conflict resolution is the way that these fundamental breakthroughs occur, whether the scientist is aware of that or not. However, I believe right now scientists do this by “gut feel”, rather than with the assistance of something like TRIZ. It works, but I keep thinking it could work better / faster / cheaper / more often with the assistance of TRIZ.

A case study highlighting the use of TRIZ in the “hard sciences” may help generate some interest, just as the case studies in product development has helped generate interest with designers. However, the fundamental science case studies just don't seem to be out there.

Message: 1724
Posted by: Ellen Domb
Posted on: Wednesday, 23rd December 2009

I agree with both themes developed here:  

1.  TRIZ applies to the technology of the research laboratory (the original question was a physical contradiction:  I want to cool the block, I don't want to cool the block) This uses straight-forward TRIZ problem solving, for a situation with constraints.

2.  TRIZ for fundamental science.   I think Kim is right about contradictions here, too–the breakthroughs in science theory are almost always about increasing ideality by simplifying the system, which can frequently also require eliminating contradications.  Copernicus and Galileo got rid of the complexity of planetary epicycles, Feynman and Gellman got rid of the complexity of dozens of “elementary” particles, etc.   BUT QC is right–I'm not aware of any cases of TRIZ being used by the fundamental science researchers.   This is why I think that teaching TRIZ in the schools is so important-People will apply it to better thinking in all fields of human endeavor.

Message: 1726
Posted by: Nikolai Khomenko
Posted on: Thursday, 31st December 2009

Some of First successful application  of Classical TRIZ for scientific problems:

– Explanation of Russel Effect by Voluslav Mitrofanov and his team. Physics

– Discover of the wind energetics of trees. Botanics. by Golovachev.

– SETY problem. solution proposed by Val Tsourikov.

Recent application of OTSM Problem Flow Networks approach for research and project planning were done for European Institute for Energy research. Several patents were obtained some in the process. OTSM based tools were used to discover directions for fundamental research on Biomass Gasification and Burning process in stoves. Some publications were done already. in December special laboratory have been established to proceed with biomass gasification in molten salt and burning process research. Pretty new direction and very prospective for new sources of energy. OTSM based tools can propose direction for fundamental and applied research.

In September at INSA Strasbourg were defended Ph.D. in management science that use OTSM network of problems to study problematic situation of a Ph.D. or any other research and pose the problems that need fundamental scientific research. Method work for many domain of knowledge.

Contradiction is a good tools of cause but when there are nothing negatives just unknown situation we have to study problematic situation according OTSM-TRIZ:

1. Develop OTSM network of Problems/Solutions – kind of dynamic map of problematic situation. it also helps increase level of formalization of the problematic situation description.

2. Use OTSM rules for selecting right problems to be solved first.

3. for selected problems use OTSM express analysis in order to study better specific aspects of the chosen problems to be solved and formulate First Step of ARIZ-85-C.

4. Apply all tools based on TRIZ and OTSM according OTSM model of a problem solving process in order to develop conceptual  solutions (Scientific Hypothesis)

This is four main steps on application OTSM-TRIZ fro fundamental and applied research and science.

Last example. in September my partner present to TRIZ Symposium in Japan our first result about application OTSM-TRIZ tools and theories for developing new tools on Regional development planning. It is about integration of TRIZ and OTSM qualitative tools with quantitative tools for planning and modelling whatever you need.

Message: 1727
Posted by: Nikolai Khomenko
Posted on: Thursday, 31st December 2009

About teaching TRIZ and OTSM at schools. It is already too late. Our research (5 Ph.d. has defended already) show that we can start at ages of 2-3 years old. we ave appropriate techniques.. Alla Nesterenko and Tatiana Sidorchuk show some results and techniques in their Keynote speeches at TRIZCON 2006 and 2007.

The core of our approach is not delivering appropriate knowledge to students but develop their research skills and rediscover new knowledge according their own interests but in frame of educational standards.

Just one example in one of small Russian city 33 kindergarten out of 38 now use our OTSM-TRIZ based methodology to develop research and thinking skills in preschoolers. As a result some schools of the city start to invite our people in order to rearrange educational process in the elementary schools.

we must and we can start teaching OTSM-TRIZ since early ages of 2-3 years old kids. Parents like this and require administration of kindergarten and schools introduce OTSM-TRIZ educational technologies.

This is an more example on application OTSM-TRIZ for educational science (just to remind: 5 Ph.D. were defended already). some more detail in English you can find on our book: Thoughtivity For Kids.

Message: 1728
Posted by: Nikolai Khomenko
Posted on: Thursday, 31st December 2009

About Hard Science:

I have already mentioned Physics, Botanics. one more example in Math. Ph.D. by Val Tsourikov about identification a signal in the high level of noise signal. It was proved mathematically that it is impossible to create algorithms that will be precise enough and quick enough at the same time. Valery Tsourikov made brake-through – he develop new class of algorithms that increase speed of calculation 240 times and keep high level of precision.

one more Ph.D. in Math were defended in Minsk by Nguen Van Chan fro Vietnam in the middle of 70s. Nguen Van Chan learn Classical TRIZ from Altshuller in Baku, Azerbaijan when he was a university student. and then make his doctorate in Minsk State University.

Both of them have publications. As far as I remember in English as well. But I am not sure if TRIZ was mentioned there.

Message: 1729
Posted by: Vesselin Tonchev
Posted on: Thursday, 31st December 2009

Thanks Ellen! In fact, the second theme you formulate is pretty much in line with my initial attitude posting the message in the root of this discussion.VT

Message: 1730
Posted by: Zvi Ben-Dov
Posted on: Thursday, 31st December 2009


Could you explain what is OTSM (general theory of the strong thinking) in a few words?

In order to explain it better define, please, what are characteristics of the strong thinking and how they differ from “weak” thinking. This will explain the start point and the result you want to get (end point)



Message: 1731
Posted by: Vesselin Tonchev
Posted on: Thursday, 31st December 2009

The approach of Nikolay is targeting the essence. One alternative is to slide on the surface and target two formal outputs of the scientific activity – number of publications and various awards (Nobel, etc). What I mean? The quest for more and more published papers as a general measure of academic excellence turns into a crazy race. This process could be TRIZ-analyzed in order to identify and rationalize the ways of achieving maximal publication rate. In other words, it would be interesting to establish TRIZ-based paper-generator. One more comment. This approach to the paper publication is fair enough, not like the regular attempts to publish papers generated by the random number generator.Now about the Nobel prize (and other prizes). Is it a sort of Ideal Final Result? In the beginning I was inclined to think so but then realized that such a formulation doesn't stimulate anything in any sense. Then I realized that the Ideal Final Result is one step further – what invention/discovery would bring its author(s) all Nobel prizes for a given year? 🙂

Message: 1732
Posted by: QualityColorado
Posted on: Thursday, 31st December 2009


Thank you very much for your postings! I will research on the Internet to see if they have any public publications which our researchers could reference.

Message: 1733
Posted by: Vesselin Tonchev
Posted on: Friday, 1st January 2010

Thanks to the post of Nikolay I found an interesting paper on Internet: Generate Innovative Ideas to Make Marketing Tools

  • General Motors Creativity Tools
  • Needs for TRIZ Research?