Two LLNL researchers named APS Fellows

Dec. 11, 2008

Two LLNL researchers named APS Fellows

Two Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers — Andrew MacKinnon and Per Söderlind — have been named 2008 Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS).

MacKinnon was honored for “pioneering experimental studies of interactions of intense laser pulses with matter and in particular, the physics and applications of short pulse laser driven proton beams.” He has been at the Lab since 1999.

MacKinnon’s research involved developing diagnostics of the interaction of intense short pulse lasers with matter and the production of mega-electron volt proton beams using ultra-intense laser pulses. MacKinnon said these proton beams are particularly interesting because they can be used to probe plasmas or create extreme states of matter. Applications of these proton beams are being actively pursued by research groups around the world.

Söderlind was honored for “important contributions in electronic-structure theory for transition and actinide metals, particularly plutonium.” He has been at the Lab since 1994.

His first scientific publication, on plutonium and the light actinides, appeared in the APS journal, Physical Review B in 1990. Earlier this year, Söderlind received an LLNL award for his classified work on plutonium.

This year, 225 new fellows were elected to the APS. Less than half of a percent of the APS members are fellows. It is 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.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ( is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.