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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Two at PPPL elected fellows of American Physical Society

Robert Kaita and Neil Pomphrey, physicists at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory , have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society.

They received the lifetime appointments in recognition of their contributions to the field of plasma physics. APS officials announced the fellows during the society's Division of Plasma Physics annual meeting in October. The APS rules limit the maximum number of fellows selected each year to be no more than half of 1 percent of the division membership.

Kaita was honored for his research concerning the fundamentals of heating plasmas to the temperatures required for fusion. Plasma is a hot, ionized gas used as the fuel for the production of fusion energy. Kaita has been involved in many projects at PPPL since joining the lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 1978. Presently, he is co-principal investigator of the Current Drive Experiment-Upgrade and the head of Diagnostic Operations for the National Spherical Torus Experiment.

Pomphrey, who joined the PPPL staff in 1983, was cited for his pioneering theoretical and computational investigations of fusion plasmas interacting with magnetic fields and circuits. His work serves as a foundation for predictions of plasma performance in magnetic fusion energy devices such as stellarators. The National Compact Stellarator Experiment is planned as the centerpiece of the U.S. effort to develop the physics and determine the attractiveness of the compact stellarator as the basis for a fusion power reactor. It is being designed and is scheduled to operate beginning in 2007 at the PPPL, in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The PPPL, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by the University, is a collaborative national center for science and innovation leading to an attractive fusion energy source.

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601

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