PPPL physicist Davidson Garners 2005 Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award


Plainsboro, New Jersey - In recognition of his important contributions to beam physics, Ronald C. Davidson, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been selected to receive the Particle Accelerator Science and Technology (PAST) Award for 2005. Davidson will receive the award on May 18 during the biennial Particle Accelerator Conference in Knoxville, Tenn. The PAST Technical Committee of the IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers] Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society sponsors the award, which consists of a plaque and $2,000 for each recipient. Also receiving a PAST Award this year is Brookhaven National Laboratory physicist Thomas Roser.

Davidson is being cited for "pioneering contributions to the theory of charged particle beams with intense self fields, including fundamental studies of nonlinear dynamics and collective processes." This work relates to the behavior of the charged particles making up the beam, including interactions among the particles themselves. Such intense beams have applications in several areas of science and technology, including particle physics and nuclear physics, ion-beam-driven fusion, high energy density physics, and proton beams used in cancer therapy.

"Ron Davidson is truly a 'Renaissance' scientist. It is a pleasure that his excellent work has been acknowledged now by the IEEE through this very important award," said PPPL Director Rob Goldston.

Davidson is a professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and the Deputy Director of the Virtual National Laboratory for Heavy Ion Fusion, a collaborative effort among PPPL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. At PPPL, he is Deputy Head of the Theory Department and Head of the Beam Dynamics and Nonneutral Plasma Division.

"I'd like to thank the IEEE and the accelerator physics community for this important recognition. As a fortunate beneficiary of Princeton's graduate program in plasma physics, I'm especially grateful to my many talented teachers, collaborators, and students at PPPL and throughout the plasma physics and accelerator communities," said Davidson.

Since his graduation from Princeton University with a Ph.D. in plasma physics in 1966, Davidson has held a number of distinguished positions, including Director of PPPL and Director of the Plasma Fusion Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in addition to being a professor at several academic institutions. Davidson has made fundamental theoretical contributions to many areas of pure and applied physics. He is the author of more than 300 archival journal articles and books. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Kaul Foundation Award for Excellence in plasma physics and fusion energy development in 1993, and the Department of Energy's Distinguished Associate Award and the Fusion Power Associates' Leadership Award in 1986. Davidson is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

PPPL, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by Princeton University, is a collaborative national center for science and innovation leading to an attractive fusion energy source. Fusion is the process that powers the sun and the stars. In the interior of stars, matter is converted into energy by the fusion, or joining, of the nuclei of light atoms to form heavier elements. At PPPL, physicists use a magnetic field to confine a hot ionized gas, or plasma, as the fuel for fusion energy production. Scientists hope eventually to use fusion energy for the generation of electricity.

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