The EPS Plasma Physics Division took the opportunity of its 40th annual conference, held in Espoo, Finland, from 1-5 July, 2013, to reward researchers who have achieved outstanding scientific or technological results, thus reinforcing excellence in science.
The 2013 Hannes Alfvén Prize was awarded to Miklos Porkolab (MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, US) “for his seminal contributions to the physics of plasma waves and his key role in the development of fusion energy”.
The outstanding contribution of M. Porkolab to plasma physics and his major long-standing scientific interest are the understanding of plasma-wave interactions and its applications to heating and current drive in fusion relevant magnetised plasmas. He has significantly expanded the field of radio frequency [RF] heating through several pioneering experiments conducted on different tokamaks. These experiments covered the whole range of frequencies, from electron and ion cyclotron to lower-hybrid resonances.
His contributions to properly developed theories and diagnostic techniques, including CO2 laser scattering or more recently Phase Contrast Imaging, led to important discoveries such as the role of parametric decay instabilities at high RF powers or the mode conversion of the fast magnetosonic wave into kinetic ion cyclotron waves.
M. Porkolab also valuably and successfully explored ion Bernstein wave and fast magnetosonic wave electron heating, and lower hybrid wave current drive and profile control in tokamak plasmas. Other areas of significant contributions include studies of plasma turbulence and its impact on energy confinement, laboratory magnetic reconnection, and laser-plasma interaction and inertial confinement fusion.
With such a broad scientific expertise in plasma physics, unique contributions to first-rate theories, exciting and novel experiments and development of innovative diagnostic techniques, as well as with a great devotion to science education and service, M. Porkolab has had a strong impact on fusion energy research worldwide.
The 2013 EPS Plasma Physics Division PhD Research Awards went to (alphabetic order):
- Frederico Fiúza, for his thesis “Multi-scale PIC modeling of high energy density scenarios: from laboratory to astrophysics” (IST/GoLP, Portugal),
- Elena Nedanovska, for her thesis “Thomson scattering from technological plasmas” (QUB, United Kingdom),
- Lidia Piron, for her thesis “Improved feedback control of MHD instabilities and error fields in reversed-field pinch and tokamak” (Padua, Italy), and
- István Pusztai, for his thesis “Turbulent and neoclassical transport in tokamak plasmas” (Chalmers, Sweden).
The 2013 IoP-EPS Poster Prizes and the 2013 Itoh Project Prize in Plasma Turbulence, sponsored by the Kyushu University and supported by IoP, were also awarded during the conference and their recipients announced during the closing session:
- John Omotani (York, United Kingdom) for his poster “Non-local parallel transport in the tokamak scrape-off layer”
- Didier Vezinet (CEA, France) for his poster “Soft X-Ray cooling factor low dependency on transport: investigating the domain of validity”
- Sina Fietz (IPP, Germany) for her poster “Interaction of neoclassical tearing modes with externally applied magnetic perturbations at ASDEX Upgrade”
- Yevgen Kravets (Strathclyde, United Kingdom) for his poster “Energy losses due to radiation reaction in an intense laser pulse”
- Farah Hariri (CEA, France) for her work “A flux-coordinate independent field-aligned approach to plasma turbulence simulations” that will give her the chance to a one-week stay in Japan.