Prize Recipient

Seth Davidovits

Seth Davidovits
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory


"For major contributions to understanding, simulating, and diagnosing turbulence in compressing plasmas; for the identification of the sudden dissipation effect and suggestions for exploiting it; and for the derivation of a practical lower bound on turbulent dissipation in compressing plasma."


Seth Davidovits earned a B.A. in applied physics from Columbia University in 2010, graduating as valedictorian of Columbia Engineering. As an undergraduate, he worked at the Columbia Non-neutral Torus Laboratory and, on a computational biology project, at Argonne National Laboratory. He then entered the Ph.D. program in plasma physics at Princeton University, where he held a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. His Ph.D. thesis, completed in 2017 under the direction of Professor Nathaniel Fisch, focused on the theory and simulation of turbulence in compressing fluids, with an emphasis on effects unique to plasma, such as a novel sudden viscous dissipation mechanism. He is now a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton, where he holds a Department of Energy Fusion Energy Sciences postdoctoral fellowship. He is a member of the American Physical Society and was chosen as a 2018 Howes Scholar. Dr. Davidovits continues to pursue the compression of turbulent plasma, with applications in inertial-confinement-fusion experiments, Z-pinch experiments, and astrophysical plasmas.

His thesis research attracted funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA).  The Israeli Binational Science Foundation, through a joint program with NSF, supported related experimental research at the Weizmann Institute.

Selection Committee:

2018 Selection Committee Members: Hye-Sook Park, LLNL (Chair); Alexey Arefiev, University of California, San Diego (Vice Chair); Daniel Den Hartog, University of Wisconsin; Scott Kovaleski, University of Missouri; Ping Zhu, University of Science and Technology of China.