APS News

Physicists Honored at Fall Meetings

Five physicists are being honored with APS prizes and awards at two fall divisional meetings. The Maxwell Prize, Excellence in Plasma Physics Award, and Marshall Rosenbluth Thesis Award were presented at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, held October 24-28 in Denver, Colorado. The Fluid Dynamics Prize and the Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award will be presented at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, to be held November 20-22 in Chicago, Illinois. The recipients, their citations, and short biographical information are below

Nathaniel Fisch

Princeton University
Citation: "For theoretical development of efficient rf-driven current in plasmas and for greatly expanding our ability to understand, to analyze, and to utilize wave-plasma interactions."

Fisch is Professor of Astrophysical Sciences and Director of the Program in Plasma Physics at Princeton University. He also is an Associated Faculty in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Associate Director for Academic Affairs at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was an MIT National Scholar, earning his PhD degree in 1978. Fisch predicted new ways to drive electric current in hot, magnetized plasma by means of electromagnetic waves. These currents are now used to operate tokamaks continuously and to control heat transport. He is now exploring plasma-based methods of generating extreme laser intensities, plasma thrusters and related plasma devices, and fusion concepts employing magnetically or inertially confined plasma. Fisch received the APS Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics in 1992.

Howard M. Milchberg

University of Maryland
Citation: "For the conception and first realization of hydrodynamic shock-formed plasma channels, and for the development of diagnostics for their characterization."

Milchberg completed his PhD in astrophysical sciences in 1985 at Princeton University, in the plasma physics program. His dissertation was on one of the first two soft x-ray lasers experimentally demonstrated. Milchberg then joined AT&T Bell Laboratories as a postdoctoral researcher, where he performed one of the first experiments in high intensity femtosecond laser-plasma interactions. In 1988 Milchberg joined the University of Maryland. He is a professor in the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Physics. He is interested in all aspects of the interaction of intense short laser pulses with matter.

Stefan P. Gerhardt

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Citation: “For insightful theoretical modeling and innovative experimental measurement of plasma flows in three-dimensional toroidal geometries and demonstration of reduced parallel viscous damping with quasisymmetry.”

Gerhardt did his PhD work at the Helically Symmetric experiment, a quasiymmetric stellarator in the Electrical Engineering department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to participation in the initial commissioning of the HSX device, his dissertation work demonstrated the reduction in neoclassical flow damping in a quasisymmetric stellarator. Gerhardt is presently employed by the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, studying the formation and stability of compact toroid plasmas formed by spheromak merging.

Ronald Adrian

Arizona State University
Citation: “For his advancement of experimental techniques and their integration into experiments that have led to new insight into complex flows.”

Biographical information unavailable at press time.

Silas D. Alben
Harvard University
Citation: “For elegant mathematical and numerical analysis of fluid-structure interaction to elucidate deformation-induced drag reduction of flexible membranes in a wind and induction of forward flight by the symmetry-breaking flapping of wings.”

Biographical information unavailable at press time.

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