Fisch wins Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics

Oct. 20, 2005, 11:47 a.m.

Nathaniel Fisch, professor of astrophysical sciences and director of the Program in Plasma Physics, has been named the recipient of the American Physical Society's 2005 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics.

The prize recognizes Fisch, who also is associate director for academic affairs at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, for his outstanding contributions to the field of plasma physics. He is cited for "theoretical development of efficient radio frequency-driven current in plasmas and for greatly expanding our ability to understand, to analyze and to utilize wave-plasma interactions."

Rob Goldston, director of the PPPL, said, "Professor Fisch's work on radio frequency waves and their application to driving currents in plasmas has changed the face of international fusion research, making it possible to contemplate fusion systems that operate fully steadily, rather than in short pulses. In many ways the research agenda of the last decade in fusion plasma physics has only been made possible by Nat's insights."

Scott Tremaine, chair of the University's Department of Astrophysical Sciences, said, "Nat Fisch is not only an exceptional theoretical physicist but also is committed to the fulfillment of PPPL's unique role in the training of the next generation of plasma physicists and to strengthening the interactions between PPPL and the University research community. Nat's work exemplifies the benefits that accrue to both communities from close cooperation between universities and national labs."

The Maxwell Prize, which is awarded annually, includes a $5,000 prize. It was established in 1975 by Maxwell Technologies Inc., in honor of Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell and is currently sponsored by General Atomics.