Nov. 22, 2002

Seven Lab physicists elected APS fellows



Seven Lab physicists have been named fellows of the American Physical Society, one of the largest selections of fellows named from the Lab in a single year.

Tomas Diaz de la Rubia, associate director for Chemistry and Materials Science, was elected for his work in computational physics, notably "his contributions to multi-scale modeling of materials and seminal research on defect processes in solids under irradiation or high strain-rate conditions," according to the APS citation.

That seven researchers from Livermore were elected this year is a reflection not only of individual talent and achievement, but of the Lab’s dynamic research culture, de la Rubia said. "The Lab is a place where I have been able to do cutting edge science that matters to the Laboratory and the nation, and is recognized by my peers in the broad scientific community."

Yu-Jiuan Chen of the Fusion Energy Division of the Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate was named for her work in revolutionizing the achievable beam quality of linear induction accelerators and advancing the state-of-the-art of flash X-ray radiographic technology.

Chen, who has worked at the Lab since 1981 and is the Theory Group leader in the Beam Research Program, said she didn’t know she had been nominated for the APS Fellowship. She was nominated for her work in physics of beams.

"I was totally surprised," she said. "Then I started thinking, ‘Oh, there are a lot of people that are better qualified than me.’ But then when it sank in, I felt very honored to receive such recognition."

Forrest Rogers, a physicist in V Division of PAT who has worked at the Lab for more than 30 years, was also surprised at the nomination for his work in plasma physics."I’m honored to receive the recognition from my peers for significant scientific achievement," he said.

Rogers was cited for developing the ACTEX equation of state and OPAL opacity models and applying them to a range of astrophysical and laboratory plasma problems including helioseismology, variable stars and laser shock experiments. Rogers said he plans to continue his research in this area because it "is the core subject matter of what the Lab does."

Barbara Lasinski, long-time A/X Division physicist of the Defense and Nuclear Technologies Directorate, was cited by APS for "...development and application of particle-in-cell codes for laser-plasma interaction physics, and a long series of contributions to the understanding of the physics of targets for high-power laser experiments."

Lasinski joined John Nuckoll’s X group in A Division and began laser-plasma instability modeling for the laser fusion program during the 1970s. She played key roles in the development of the Lab’s two main laser-plasma codes and in their application to experimental issues on the Nova, PetaWatt and Omega lasers. She conducted key radiation-hydrodynamic modeling in support of high-energy-density experiments on Omega and planning for NIF.

Otto "Nino" Landen, acting associate program leader for ignition physics experiments within the ICF Program of the National Ignition Facility Programs Directorate, was cited for his work in picosecond laser-plasma interactions, advanced diagnostics, X-ray driven inertial confinement fusion implosions and time-dependent hohlraum symmetry control. He was nominated for his work in plasma physics.

Landen’s most significant achievements have been in the fields of implosion physics for indirect-drive inertial confinement fusion and short-pulse laser-matter interactions.

In particular, he conducted and led the first demonstrations of indirect-drive time-dependent hohlraum symmetry control at the level required for NIF ignition capsules. He has also invented several new X-ray imaging and spectroscopy techniques for diagnosing dense plasmas as found in ICF.

Andrew McMahan, a physicist in H Division of PAT for 28 years, was named a fellow for his work in the computation of effective Hamiltonian parameters for the super conducting copper oxides and phase transitions of materials under high pressure, and the subsequent solution of the associated models. He was nominated for his work in the computational physics category.

Donald Prosnitz, a physicist in the Nonproliferation, Arms Control and International Security Directorate who is on leave from the Lab to serve as chief scientist for the Department of Justice, was cited for his pioneering work at the Lab in free electron lasers, part of the Strategic Defense Initiative.

"The free electron laser research was the result of the cumulative effort of a large group of creative and dedicated LLNL individuals including scientists, engineers and administrative staff," he said. "The whole team deserves credit for the work."

Prosnitz, who will return to the Lab in January, was nominated by the forum on physics and society not only for his work at LLNL, but also for his contributions to physics and society spanning fundamental physics research to national security and law enforcement technologies that he has performed at the Department of Justice.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication or made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. They may also have made significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of APS.

Each year, no more than one-half of 1 percent of the current membership of the Society is recognized by their peers for election to the status of fellow in APS.

Each new fellow is elected after careful and competitive review and recommendation by a fellowship committee on the unit level, additional review by the APS Fellowship Committee and final approval by the full APS Council. This year a total of 192 new fellows were named.

To be nominated as an APS fellow, the nominee must be a member of APS in good standing; obtain signatures of two sponsors who are members of APS in good standing; submit a complete original nomination packet (signed nomination and supporting letters) and one photocopy packet prior to unit deadline. The deadlines vary for subject matter. The 2002 APS Fellows will officially be announced in the March issue of APS News.