Four Lawrence Livermore researchers named 2018 fellows of the American Physical Society

Oct. 11, 2018

Four Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have been selected as 2018 fellows of the American Physical Society. From left: Andrew MacPhee, Lorin Benedict, Patrice Turchi and Nir Goldman. (Download Image)

Four Lawrence Livermore researchers named 2018 fellows of the American Physical Society

Four Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have been selected as 2018 fellows of the American Physical Society (APS).

The new fellows represent a selection of physics expertise, ranging from computational physics to shock compression of condensed matter and instrument and measurement science. APS fellowships are awarded after extensive review and are considered a distinct honor because the evaluation process, conducted by the fellowship committees of individual divisions, topical groups and forums, relies on nomination and recommendation by one's professional peers.

Lorin Benedict, of the Physical and Life Sciences (PLS) Directorate and a 20-year employee, was cited for “the development of first-principles approaches that include electron-hole interaction effects in the prediction of optical absorption in materials, the properties of matter under extreme environments and the prediction of carbon nanotube properties.”

“It feels great, and also somewhat humbling,” Benedict said. “In my case, some of the work cited here was performed before coming to the Lab, but the parts that have interested me the most were done at LLNL. And in fact, it had to be this way, due to the interdisciplinary nature of that research, resulting from sizable collaborations with the very special collection of folks we have here. Most importantly, I feel so good that I am able be a lifelong student at the Lab.”

Benedict plans on digging into some core WCI-related applications. “I feel that after many years of materials modeling, I am really benefiting from learning about the bigger picture, in a sense,” he said.

Nir Goldman, also of the PLS Directorate in the Materials Science Division and a 15-year employee, was cited for “significant contributions to the development of novel quantum mechanical approaches to processes in shocked organic materials, dense fluids and chemical reactions related to the origins of life.”

“I’m thrilled,” he said. “I have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by excellent mentors and scientists over the years at LLNL. The collaborative environment here combined with the superb scientific staff have been strong motivating factors for me.”

Goldman intends to continue his research in the astrobiological synthesis of life-building compounds under extreme thermodynamic conditions; modeling of dynamic compression experiments related to high pressure-temperature materials properties; corrosion of metal and metal-oxides; and the aging and degradation of polymeric materials. He also hopes to explore plutonium aging as well.

Andrew MacPhee, a 12-year employee of the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science Directorate, was nominated for “sustained contributions to the development of advanced time resolved X-ray diagnostics and novel radiographic techniques for high energy density plasmas.”

“It is an honor to be elected an APS fellow by my peers,” he said. “Working in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) is a fantastic experience made especially rewarding through interactions with outstanding scientists and engineers both at LLNL and throughout the wider national and international community.”

MacPhee plans to continue working on ICF in the NIF directorate, looking at hydrodynamic instabilities and developing fast diagnostics for ICF and high-energy density science.

Patrice Turchi, a senior scientist in the Materials Science Division and now retired, was cited for “outstanding contributions in developing electronic structure methods with application to thermodynamic stability, order-disorder phenomena, phase transformations for a broad class of materials and for impact in the areas of computational thermodynamics and alloy design.”

His research interests encompass computational materials science and condensed matter physics with an emphasis on alloy theory from first-principles electronic structure, and stability and physical properties of complex assemblies. Turchi has given more than 310 presentations, authored or co-authored more than 295 publications, sits on the review boards of several scientific journals and has received several professional honors and awards.

Election to APS fellowship is limited to no more than one half of 1 percent of APS' membership for a given year. In the past 57 years, more than 200 LLNL scientists have been elected APS fellows.