June 29, 2001

Laser/plasma physicist Mordy Rosen named winner of Edward Teller Medal

Laser/plasma physicist Mordy Rosen is one of two recipients of the prestigious Edward Teller Medal for 2001. The award was announced this week by the American Nuclear Society. Rosen was named along with Professor Stefano Atzeni of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and the Italian National Institute for the Physics of Matter.

The Edward Teller Medal recognizes pioneering research and leadership in inertial fusion sciences and applications.
"This is a fabulous feeling," said Rosen. "I feel humble knowing the company of people I am in. These winners were pioneers in this field and I am honored to be a part of them."

Rosen, the former X Division leader and now its chief scientist, is recognized internationally for major contributions to the development of laboratory soft X-ray lasers, and to the design and analysis of complex high energy density and ICF target physics experiments, elucidating electron and radiation transport, and the properties of hot dense matter. These experiments were carried out on a long line of high power lasers at LLNL and, along with the subsequent work of many others, formed the foundation for the national science-based stockpile stewardship effort and contributed to DOE approval of the National Ignition Facility.

The American Physical Society has recognized Rosen’s outstanding work by naming him a Fellow, Centennial Lecturer, Distinguished Lecturer in plasma physics, and recipient of its Excellence in Plasma Physics Award. He has also received the Award of Excellence from the Department of Energy and has been appointed as one the first Teller Fellows at LLNL.

Rosen credits his colleagues at the Lab with much of his success. "I don’t think I could have accomplished any of this working at a university alone," he said. "This award is a tribute to my colleagues — the talented people at the Lab who actually carry out the experiments, and the computational people who write the codes. Without their help I would not be here."

The Teller Medal was created in honor of Director Emeritus Edward Teller, who is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in inertial fusion sciences. The award has been granted to 18 scientists from nine countries in previous years. Originally established by the conference series formerly called Laser Interaction and Related Plasma Phenomenon, the award is now under the auspices of the ANS Fusion Energy Division and will be given biannually at the international conference on Inertial Fusion Sciences and Applications.

The next conference takes place Sept 12 in Kyoto, Japan, where the awards will be presented. The conference, organized by Osaka University, the University of California and Ecole Polytechnique, will bring together about 400 scientists and engineers from all parts of the world to compare notes on the latest research in inertial fusion.

"I’ve never been to Japan before, so this seems like a pretty good reason to go," quipped Rosen.

Nominations for the Edward Teller Medal are widely solicited, and nominees need not be members of ANS. Twenty-two scientists were nominated for this year’s medals. The field of candidates was narrowed by a selection committee comprised of past Teller Medal winners, as well as Teller himself. The final nominations were approved by the ANS Fusion Energy Division.

Rosen’s fellow recipient, Stefano Atzeni, who did much of the research for his Teller award while he was at the Frascati laboratories of ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment), is being honored because of his leading contributions to understanding and teaching the high energy density physics related to Inertial Confinement Fusion.

The American Nuclear Society is a not-for-profit, international scientific and educational organization. It was established at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC in 1954 by individuals seeking to unify the professional activities within the diverse fields of nuclear science and technology. The ANS has since developed a multifarious membership of approximately 13,000 engineers, scientists, administrators, and educators representing more than 1,600 corporations, educational institutions, and government