Prize Recipient

James Bailey

James Bailey
Sandia National Laboratories


"For extraordinarily thorough laboratory opacity measurements of plasmas at realistic stellar interior conditions that directly resolve outstanding questions about solar structure, identify new theoretical challenges, and propel a new generation of precision high energy density experiments of direct astrophysical relevance."


James Bailey, Ph.D., received a B.S. in physics from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque) in 1978, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Irvine in 1984. Following a postdoctoral appointment in the physics department at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, he joined the Pulsed Power Sciences Directorate at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico in 1985. Dr. Bailey is currently a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia. Dr. Bailey’s primary research interest is high energy density physics, with an emphasis on spectroscopy and the behavior of atoms in plasmas. His research has spanned a wide range of topics: Z-pinch radiation-hydrodynamics measurements, X-ray microscopy of human blood cells, neon-like spectral line emission diagnostics, ion beam matter interaction experiments, 1 GV/m electric fields measured with the Stark effect, and capsule implosions driven by Z-pinch X-rays. Dr. Bailey’s current research concentration is in laboratory measurements of astrophysical plasma properties. Dr. Bailey was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2004 and is a member of the American Astronomical Society. He is a two-time recipient of the Lockheed Martin NOVA Award.

Selection Committee:

2016 Selection Committee Members: Eric Blackman, University of Rochester, (Chair); Scott Baalrud, University of Iowa, (Vice Chair); Warren Mori University of California, Los Angeles; Francesca Turco, Columbia University; Justin Wark, University of Oxford, (2015 recipient)