2024 EPS – PPCF Sylvie Jacquemot Early Career Prize

The EPS Plasma Physics Division and the Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion (PPCF) journal of IOP Publishing invite nominations for the 2024 EPS Sylvie Jacquemot Early Career Prize. This new prize will be awarded to exceptional plasma physicists in the early stages of their careers.

Background

The award is named after Prof. Dr. Sylvie Jacquemot from the Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation des Lasers Intenses (LULI) located at École Polytechnique, France. Her scientific research encompasses plasma physics and related high-energy-density applications, in particular inertial fusion sciences and X-ray laser physics. She chaired the EPS Plasma Physics Division Board from 2012 – 2016. Currently, she is the Coordinator of the Laserlab-Europe Consortium which brings together 35 leading organisations in laser-based inter-disciplinary research from 18 countries.

The award is managed by the EPS Plasma Physics Division Board and funded by PPCF.

Eligibility

Eligible nominees for the EPS – PPCF Sylvie Jacquemot Early Career Prize are persons of any nationality, based in any country, who have made a substantial contribution to plasma physics and who, on January 31 2024, have less than six years of work experience following the award of a doctoral degree or less than ten years of experience in full-time research. These periods of eligibility can be extended to take account of career breaks if documentary evidence for them is provided.

Nominees and nominators do not need to be members of the EPS, and self-nominations will be accepted. However, nominees and nominators cannot be current members of the EPS Plasma Physics Division Board.

Award

In addition to receiving a cash prize and a certificate, the winner will be invited to give a talk on their work at the 50th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics, which will take place in Salamanca, Spain, July 8 – 12, 2024. 

Each nomination needs to include:

  • Name and contact details of the nominator
  • Name and contact details of the nominee  
  • Short citation (up to 200 characters) 
  • Long citation (up to 2,500 characters) 
  • Short biography of the nominee (up to 6,000 characters) 
  • Supporting evidence (up to 3,500 characters) including a list of up to 5 publications, talks, and/or patents after obtaining a PhD (or over the six years prior to January 31 2024 if the nominee does not have a PhD).
  • Documentary evidence for career breaks if an extension of the eligibility period is requested. An English translation should be attached if the documentation is not in that language.
  • Contact details of two referees and their supporting statements (up to 300 words each)

The international physics community has a diverse and global membership, and both nominees and recipients of EPS awards need to reflect that diversity to ensure that all physicists have an opportunity to be recognized for their impact in the field. Nominations of individuals from groups historically underrepresented in physics, including women, LGBT+ scientists, scientists from Black or other minority ethnic backgrounds, scientists who are refugees or have been displaced, disabled scientists, and scientists from institutions with limited resources, are especially encouraged.

Nominees for and holders of EPS awards are expected to meet certain standards of professional conduct and integrity. They have an obligation to avoid fabrication, falsification and plagiarism, and they have an obligation to treat people well. This prohibits abuse of power, requires fair and respectful relationships with colleagues, subordinates, and students, and eschews bias, whether implicit or explicit. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from consideration or cause revocation of awards.     

Please send your nominations using this typeform link by Thursday 29th of February 2024.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email using the address epsjacquemot@bsc.es.

Sincerely,

Mervi Mantsinen and Aerton Guimarães (Barcelona Supercomputing Center) on behalf of EPS Plasma Physics Division Board and PPCF


2023 EPS Hannes Alfvén Prize2023

Long citation

Professors Pisin Chen, James Benjamin Rosenzweig and Chandrashekhar Janardan Joshi have explored the interaction of bunched particle beams – extreme forms of non-neutral plasmas – with plasma across wide parameter regimes. In particular, they have invented and pioneered beam-driven plasma wakefield acceleration (PWFA). In PWFA, intense particle beams (electrons, positrons or protons) excite strong plasma wave oscillations, which can provide focusing and accelerating electric fields three to four orders of magnitude larger than in conventional accelerators. Their applications range from compact, intense, relativistic electron beam sources to novel intense photon pulse sources to ultra-relativistic beams for high energy physics research. The concept of PWFA, and its first demonstration, was achieved in the 1980s, explored in the decades since, and today, a vibrant community drives forward their development and exploitation at numerous smaller, medium-sized and large laboratories, including CERN.


Pisin Chen is regarded as the inventor of PWFA, and has contributed numerous seminal theoretical publications on the plasma wakefield accelerator principle, energy transfer and beam loading, and plasma lenses at SLAC in the 1980s. The extreme gradients and energy gains obtainable from PWFA was a pathbreaking innovation at the energy frontier, and the extreme focusing with plasma lenses was a pathbreaking innovation at the luminosity frontier. Pisin led the E-150 Plasma Lens experiment at SLAC, that successfully demonstrated the plasma lens principle as predicted. He then went on to explore cosmology and gravity, and today, as Director of the Leung Center for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics and after numerous honours such as the 2018 Blaise Pascal Chair, Ile de France, he works on bringing together plasma wakefield accelerators with black hole physics.


James Benjamin Rosenzweig has experimentally demonstrated PWFA for the first time in the 1980s, and is regarded as father of the non-linear “blowout” interaction regime, where the beam driver is so intense that it expels all plasma electrons and forms a spherical blowout with arising linear accelerating and focusing electric field structures. He contributed many theoretical and experimental foundations of the field and e.g. together with Chen and other pioneers, developed plasma lenses. He is a pioneer also in various other high-gradient accelerator technologies and light source development such as free-electron lasers, for which he received the 2007 International FEL prize. Jamie has not only held various fellowships himself, but has influenced the field at UCLA and facilities across the US such as SLAC, but also in Europe, and a remarkable large number of former students are now field leaders themselves.


Chandrashekhar Janardan Joshi has since the early 1980s contributed pioneering works to both, laser-driven plasma interaction as well as particle beam driven plasma wakefield interaction. Likewise at UCLA, he was able to translate many techniques and concepts from LWFA, where the plasma wave is driven by intense laser pulses, to PWFA, and pushed forward a pioneering program of PWFA R&D first with SLAC’s Final Focus Test Beam and then at the FACET facility. This included milestones such as energy doubling of 42 GeV electrons in the blowout regime in a meter-scale plasma, positron-driven PWFA, acceleration of positrons with PWFA, or plasma wigglers. This has set off the modern era of PWFA, which is now more vibrant and successful than ever. Chan has received various honours for his plasma research, such as the 1996 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research, or the 2006 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics. Together, Chen, Rosenzweig and Joshi have pioneered and steered the field of particle beam-plasma interaction over many decades.

2024 EPS Hannes Alfvén Prize

Long citation

Professors Tünde Fülöp and Per Helander have significantly advanced plasma theory through a number of fundamental contributions. Their research spans many topics including runaway electrons, kinetic instabilities and transport processes in magnetized plasmas. By pinpointing key physical mechanisms, they have catalyzed innovative developments in experimental devices for nuclear fusion applications.

Professor Tünde Fülöp has been a leader in the field of disruptions and relativistic “runaway” electrons associated with these events. She has systematically explored the physics of runaway electrons in tokamaks and beyond, and conducted unprecedented modelling efforts applicable to both existing experiments and future devices. As part of this endeavour, Professor Fülöp has investigated various facets of the problem, including runaway-electron-driven electromagnetic instabilities, the impact of different collision types, radiation reaction effects, and the role of partially ionized impurities on runaway electron dynamics. Additionally, she has evaluated and optimized disruption mitigation strategies involving external magnetic perturbations and massive material injection. Furthermore, Professor Fülöp has played a crucial role in overseeing the development of several open-source, state-of-the-art runaway modelling tools and synthetic diagnostics. These tools have gained widespread use in the scientific community, reflecting her commitment to advancing collective knowledge in the field.

Professor Per Helander has obtained seminal results in the theory of stellarator plasmas by systematically exploring the question of how the properties of magnetically confined plasmas depend on the geometry of the magnetic field. In most such plasmas, turbulent transport caused by micro-instabilities arising from plasma density and temperature gradients poses a significant challenge. Professor Helander foresaw a crucial development, the absence of the most important density-gradient-driven instability in certain types of magnetic fields. This prediction is believed to underpin the remarkable record plasma performance achieved in the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator. In addressing long-standing concerns about neoclassical impurity accumulation in stellarators, professor Helander demonstrated a possible route to avoiding it in collisionality regimes relevant to reactors. Furthermore, he identified important differences between stellarators and tokamaks concerning plasma rotation. On large scales, it is relatively slow in stellarators and governed by neoclassical processes even in the presence of turbulent transport, and on small scales zonal flows behave differently. These and other revelations have shaped the general understanding of stellarator plasmas and the burgeoning field of stellarator optimization.

2023 Hannes-Alfvén-Prize

Professors Pisin Chen, James Benjamin Rosenzweig and Chandrashekhar Janardan Joshi have explored the interaction of bunched particle beams – extreme forms of non-neutral plasmas – with plasma across wide parameter regimes. In particular, they have invented and pioneered beam-driven plasma wakefield acceleration (PWFA). In PWFA, intense particle beams (electrons, positrons or protons) excite strong plasma wave oscillations, which can provide focusing and accelerating electric fields three to four orders of magnitude larger than in conventional accelerators. Their applications range from compact, intense, relativistic electron beam sources to novel intense photon pulse sources to ultra-relativistic beams for high energy physics research.
The concept of PWFA, and its first demonstration, was achieved in the 1980s, explored in the
decades since, and today, a vibrant community drives forward their development and exploitation at numerous smaller, medium-sized and large laboratories, including CERN.
Pisin Chen is regarded as the inventor of PWFA, and has contributed numerous seminal
theoretical publications on the plasma wakefield accelerator principle, energy transfer and beamloading, and plasma lenses at SLAC in the 1980s. The extreme gradients and energy gains obtainable from PWFA was a pathbreaking innovation at the energy frontier, and the extreme focusing with plasma lenses was a pathbreaking innovation at the luminosity frontier. Pisin led the E-150 Plasma Lens experiment at SLAC, that successfully demonstrated the plasma lens principle as predicted. He then went on to explore cosmology and gravity, and today, as Director of the Leung Center for Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics and after numerous honours such as the 2018 Blaise Pascal Chair, Ile de France, he works on bringing together plasma wakefield accelerators with black hole physics.
James Benjamin Rosenzweig has experimentally demonstrated PWFA for the first time in the
1980s, and is regarded as father of the non-linear “blowout” interaction regime, where the beam driver is so intense that it expels all plasma electrons and forms a spherical blowout with arising linear accelerating and focusing electric field structures. He contributed many theoretical and experimental foundations of the field and e.g. together with Chen and other pioneers, developed plasma lenses. He is a pioneer also in various other high-gradient accelerator technologies and light source development such as free-electron lasers, for which he received the 2007 International FEL prize. Jamie has not only held various fellowships himself, but has influenced the field at UCLA and facilities across the US such as SLAC, but also in Europe, and a remarkable large number of former students are now field leaders themselves.
Chandrashekhar Janardan Joshi has since the early 1980s contributed pioneering works to both,
laser-driven plasma interaction as well as particle beam driven plasma wakefield interaction.
Likewise at UCLA, he was able to translate many techniques and concepts from LWFA, where the
plasma wave is driven by intense laser pulses, to PWFA, and pushed forward a pioneering
program of PWFA R&D first with SLAC’s Final Focus Test Beam and then at the FACET facility.
This included milestones such as energy doubling of 42 GeV electrons in the blowout regime in a
meter-scale plasma, positron-driven PWFA, acceleration of positrons with PWFA, or plasma
wigglers. This has set off the modern era of PWFA, which is now more vibrant and successful than
ever. Chan has received various honours for his plasma research, such as the 1996 John Dawson
Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research, or the 2006 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for
Plasma Physics. Together, Chen, Rosenzweig and Joshi have pioneered and steered the field of
particle beam-plasma interaction over many decades.

2022 EPS Hannes Alfvén Prize

Long citation

Professor Garbet’s principal accomplishments fall into six categories.
In the theory of turbulence spreading, he pointed out the possibility of bursty entrainment events, which de-localize turbulence relative to its point of excitation. This was a key initiator of the study of mesoscopic transport physics.
He has a leading role in the development of flux-driven simulations, both gyrokinetic and gyro-fluid. In particular, he inspired the building and exploitation of the GYSELA code, whose emphasis on flux-driven dynamics is unique among large gyrokinetic code efforts. The resulting significant review papers complement other notable reviews of gyrokinetics by their emphasis on physics interpretation.
He has made important contributions to internal transport barrier (ITB) physics to achieve improved confinement, where he led a Task Force of the JET programme in the early 2000s. He helped elucidate the role of resonant surfaces and magnetic shear in ITB formation. His scientific leadership was an important contribution to ITB confinement scenario development, a topic which is central to ITER.
A highlight of his excellent work clarifying and understanding the physics of ‘inward pinch’ processes relates to the up-gradient Turbulent Equipartition Pinch (TEP). The TEP, which is not thermodynamic, and is ultimately related to magnetic inhomogeneities, is the most robust and universal such process. He made important contributions to understanding the physics, by clarifying the relation between the TEP mechanism and the constraint of entropy production.
He has made important contributions to understanding plasma rotation and the transport of high-Z impurities, which radiate energy and trigger instabilities which are a major concern for the operation of magnetically confined plasmas. He unravelled synergistic interplays between collisional and turbulent transport, and highlighted mechanisms whereby experimentally observed spatial impurity distributions may be understood.
During the 1990s, he made important early contributions to understanding scrape-off layer (SOL) stability. He showed the possibility of interchange instability in the SOL, due to  its magnetic structure, which links in turn to the key ITER physics issue of SOL width.

2021 EPS Hannes Alfvén Prize

Long citation

Professor Sergei Igorevich Krasheninnikov has made vital contributions to an exceptionally broad range of aspects of a complex and multifaceted subfield of MCF plasma research: the physics of the scrape-off layer and divertor region. The processes that arise in this region at the very edge of the plasma link the hot core plasma to the solid material of the first wall. As design work in preparation for ITER has proven, these play a crucial role in the development of future magnetic fusion power plants. Studies of the scrape-off layer and divertor plasma physics are exceptionally complex, because of the many different interconnecting nonlinear processes that operate. These include classical and anomalous multicomponent plasma transport, atomic physics processes, plasma interactions with the first wall materials, and transport of plasma species in the lattice of these materials. Professor Krasheninnikov is widely acknowledged as a leading expert in this area of fusion research. His seminal ideas have helped build the foundations, and shaped the present understanding, of diverse aspects. These include the physics of “blobs”, divertor plasma detachment, the role of atomic physics processes, and the role of dust. His results on both atomic physics and dust are used well beyond magnetic fusion research. As a direct confirmation of the impact of Professor Krasheninnikov on the field, one may mention that the words “blobs” and “MAR”, which were coined by him to describe, respectively, coherent filamentary structures advected through the scrape-off layer and Molecular Assisted Recombination in divertor plasmas, are used in hundreds of magnetic fusion related papers worldwide.

2022 EPS Plasma Physics Innovation Prize

Long citation

Ane Aanesland and Dmytro Rafalskyi pioneered the use of iodine as a propellant for innovative satellite electric propulsion systems. Based on research work they originally performed at the Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas at Ecole Polytechnique in France, they founded the company ThrustMe in 2017 to commercialize a new iodine propulsion technology. The system developed makes use of solid iodine propellant, which is then sublimated to form iodine gas. A plasma is then created using a radio-frequency inductive antenna, and positive iodine ions are extracted and accelerated with a set of high-voltage grids to produce thrust. After several years of development, the world’s first iodine electric propulsion system was launched into space on 6th November 2020 and subsequently successfully demonstrated in orbit. The results have recently been published in the leading scientific journal, Nature: less than a week after publication, the paper was already ranked within the top 5% of all articles ever tracked in terms of online media impact, and resulted in several hundred news articles and media interviews.
This new plasma-based technology is a major achievement for the space industry, and the impact of this work cannot be overstated: The electric propulsion system developed makes use of solid iodine propellant, which is sublimated to form iodine gas. A plasma is then created using a radio-frequency inductive antenna, and positive iodine ions are extracted and accelerated with a set of high-voltage grids to produce thrust. The use of iodine creates several complex challenges, which have required innovative solutions and fundamental physics investigations. Javier Martínez Martínez, as a senior engineer at ThrustMe, played a critical role by solving problems associated with corrosion, storage in space, and flow control. Within the space industry, high-performance electric propulsion systems have traditionally used xenon as the propellant. However, in contrast to iodine, xenon is very expensive, about €2500/kg; commercial production is limited; and it must be stored under very high pressure, typically one or two hundred times atmospheric pressure.
It is estimated that more than 24 000 satellites will be launched into space over the next ten years, and most will require propulsion systems. Space industry demand for xenon alone is anticipated to soon outpace supply, and it is critical that a viable replacement propellant be found. Iodine was identified over twenty years ago as a possible alternative to xenon but until now, despite being investigated by companies, space agencies, and universities around the world, no iodine propulsion system has ever been tested in space. Iodine is acknowledged as a transformative propellant. It is about a hundred times cheaper than xenon; it can be stored unpressurized as a solid, with a storage density almost three times higher than xenon; and is abundant, with global production around five hundred times higher than xenon. With growing space industry demand, and the rise of satellite mega-constellations, iodine will play a vital role in ensuring a sustainable space industry. In addition, because it can be stored as a solid, iodine enables substantial subsystem simplification and miniaturization. This allows a complete propulsion system to be provided to even very small satellites, and gives them a new capability for collision avoidance and for deorbiting to prevent space debris build-up. The high performance offered by an iodine plasma propulsion system will also enable advanced orbital manoeuvring for larger satellites, which will prove vital in the coming decades as humanity returns to the Moon and expands further into space.
It is impressive to see how Ane and Dmytro have taken their fundamental plasma research and, with the help of Javier, turned this into a product that is now available on the market and which has already gained significant commercial traction since its first demonstration in space.

EPS BPIF Board elections

The Election Committee registered 10 valid applications for the 3 open positions within the BPIF Board. At the end of the voting process, 92 bulletins were received. Among them, the Election Committee validated 85 bulletins, 7 bulletins being invalidated due to double inconsistent votes.

The results of the validated votes are given in the graph below.

The largest number of votes went to L. Gremillet, M. Kaluza and S. Depierreux. However, the Board members elected in one given round cannot be from the same country. Consequently, the Election Committee announces the final results of the elections.

Laurent Gremillet (CEA/DIF, France), Malte Kaluza (IOQ, FSU Jena, Germany) and Fabrizio Consoli (ENEA Frascati, Italy) are elected.

EPL Prizes for best research image/video and communication skills in plasma physics

2019 (all images and videos can be seen on the conference website here)

  • Images
    • M. Griener, IPP Garching (Germany) “Polychromator system for Helium Line Ratio Spectroscopy at ASDEX Upgrade”,
    • S. Smith, York University (UK) “MAST-U Super-X ELM simulation imaged by a simulated fast camera diagnostic”,
  • Videos
    • G. Blacard, CEA/Saclay (France) and LBNL (USA) “Orbital angular momentum transfer in two Laguerre Gaussian Beams”,
    • H. de Oliveira, EPFL (Switzerland) “Surviving in the Tokamak Heat”.

EPS Plasma Physics Division – Election to the Board

In accordance with the statutes of the Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society (EPS-PPD), there are six vacancies for incoming members of the Divisional Board. These will be filled by a process of direct election by the Individual Members of EPS, augmented by recent attendees at the Annual Conference organised by EPS-PPD.

The term of service will be four years from summer 2021 to summer 2025, renewable by mutual agreement for a second four-year term. The first meeting which newly elected Board members are expected to attend will take place in Sitges on Sunday 20th June 2021, if circumstances permit.

The continuing membership of the EPS-PPD Board 2020 to 2025 comprises:

  1. Richard Dendy (chair)
  2. Andrea Ciardi
  3. Kristel Crombé (Hon. Sec.)
  4. Andreas Dinklage
  5. Basil Duval
  6. Carlos Silva
  7. Vladimir Tikhonchuk
  8. Stefan Weber
  9. Luca Volpe – ex officio BPIF section
  10. Eva Kovacevic – ex officio LT section

The duties of Board members are:

  1. to promote scientific excellence in plasma physics by rewarding researchers who have achieved outstanding results, through the extensive portfolio of prizes administered by EPS-PPD,
  2. to sustain and coordinate the Annual Conference on plasma physics, through the formation of each year’s Programme Committee and through identifying and supporting the flow of conference venues,
  3. to attend, in person, each of the two annual Board Meetings: one at the Annual Conference, and one at a European research centre in November or December,
  4. to be (or, after election, become) an Individual Member of EPS; this typically requires a very modest fee, supplementary to membership of a national physical society.

The call for nominations, including self-nominations, of appropriate candidates, was closed in June 2020. The candidates are listed below per alphabetic order; their nomination forms can be read by clicking on their names. Note that all the candidates agree to serve if elected and understand the above objectives and conditions; in addition, their home institute agrees to support their travel expenses to all Board meetings.

The deadline for voting is November 6th. If you are allowed to vote (see above), the address for the electronic voting ballot is in your mailbox.