Dec. 11, 2000

Lab Scientists Named Fellows of the American Physical Society

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Three scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been named Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). The APS last month elected to Fellowship Livermore researchers Robert Cauble of the Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate and James Hammer and Joseph Nilsen of the Defense and Nuclear Technologies Directorate.

Each year no more than one-half of one percent of the Society's current membership are recognized by their peers for election to the status of Fellow. The hundred-year-old Society currently numbers 40,000 physicists worldwide.

APS Fellowship recognizes those who have made advances in knowledge through original research or have made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology.

Robert Cauble was cited by the APS for his "important contributions to the understanding of the equation of state of dense, strongly coupled plasmas." Cauble’s work included shocking matter to a million atmospheres pressure to measure the equation of state — how pressure varies with temperature and density — of that matter.

Experiments with hydrogen revealed complicated and completely unexpected behavior that has important consequences for laser fusion, as well as for understanding how stars and planets form and evolve.

"I am honored to receive such recognition of this work from the Society," said Cauble, a senior scientist and member of his Directorate’s High-Energy-Density Physics & Astrophysics Division. "I am excited by the research possibilities, and thankful for the colleagues and collaborators with whom I’ve been able to work."

James Hammer was recognized for his pioneering work in the development of novel approaches to fusion and high-energy-density plasma applications, including contributions to the fast ignitor inertial confinement fusion (ICF) concept, acceleration of compact toroidal plasmas rings and the use of z-pinch X-ray sources for ICF.

"I’m very honored to have been named an APS Fellow," said Hammer, a member of his Directorate’s ICF Applications Group. "I have worked with many gifted and inventive sceintists at the Laboratory who have aided, and continue to aid, me greatly in making my own contributions to fusion and high-energy-density science. It is deeply satisfying to have one’s work acknowledged in this way."

Joseph Nilsen was distinguished for outstanding contributions to the understanding and development of X-ray lasers. Nilsen’s work in designing X-ray lasers has resulted in demonstration of the world’s shortest wavelength, highest energy experimentally demonstrated laser. Nilsen also discovered the prepulse technique used today to drive virtually all X-ray laser systems. He is currently involved in attempting to develop applications for pico-second driven X-ray lasers.

"I am very pleased to have my X-ray laser research recognized by election to a Fellowship in the American Physical Society," said Nilsen, a member of his Directorate’s High-Energy-Density design group. "I want to thank all my colleagues at the Laboratory and worldwide who have enabled me to participate in and contribute to this exciting field."