Jürgen Nührenberg (left) and Allen Boozer (middle) receive the Hannes Alvén Prize from Carlos Hidalgo (right), Chairman of EPS PPD (Photo: EPS PPD)

At their annual conference, held between June 21st – 25th 2010 in Dublin, Ireland, the European Physics Society Plasma Physics Division (EPS PPD) rewarded researchers for outstanding scientific or technological results. The awards are a central instrument to reinforce excellence in science.

Allen Boozer, Professor at Columbia University, US, and Jürgen Nührenberg, Professor at Max-Planck Institut für Plasmaphysik and Greifswald University, Germany, received the 2010 divisional Hannes Alfvén Prize “for the formulation and practical application of criteria allowing stellarators to have good fast-particle and neoclassical energy confinement”.

The two scientists revolutionised fusion research by developing stellarator magnetic fields that yield confinement properties compatible with those of tokamaks. Their ideas have already partially been confirmed at the Wendelstein 7-AS (IPP, Germany) and HSX (University of Wisconsin, USA) stellarators and provide the basis for the world’s largest stellarator under construction, Wendelstein 7-X.

The 2010 Plasma Physics Innovation Prize is awarded to Uwe Czarnetzki, Professor at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, “for his outstanding contributions in the discovery of the Electrical Asymmetry Effect, its scientific characterisation and for its development up tothe level of successful industrial application”.

Czarnetzki discovered a novel method of individually controlling ion energy and density in technical plasmas. These are the two essential parameters necessary for plasma materials processing and have, until now, not been possible to control accurately. The research has resulted in a patent, which is being used e.g. by leading manufacturers of large area solar cells. The EPS award recognises Czarnetzki’s entire outstanding contributions to low temperature plasmas.

The PPD 2010 PhD Research Award was given to five young scientists for their exceptional quality of work: Xavier Davoine, CEA, France, for improving the numerical procedure for modelling electron dynamics; Guilhem Dif-Pradalier, CEA, (now at University of California. San Diego, US), for a fundamental discussion of the formalism needed to describe turbulence and transport in magnetised plasmas; Emeric Falize and Berenice Loupias, CEA France, for their investigation of similarities between laser induced plasmas and astrophysical plasmas; Peter Manz, Stuttgart University, Germany, for his comprehensive analysis of turbulence in magnetised plasmas.

More information about all of the award-winners can be found here: http://plasma.ciemat.es/awards.shtml
Carlos Hidalgo, Chairman of the EPS Plasma Physics Division