Top Journal Award in the Field of Plasma Physics Awarded for Research in Particle Acceleration in Magnetic Reconnection
AIP Publishing is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2019 Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics is Joel T. Dahlin, a fellow of the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), administered for NASA by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA). AIP Publishing sponsors the award in collaboration with the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics (APS-DPP), to recognize one researcher each year whose outstanding work has been published in the journal, Physics of Plasmas.
“AIP Publishing and Physics of Plasmas are delighted to award Joel T. Dahlin the 2019 Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasmas Physics,” said Jason Wilde, chief publishing officer at AIP Publishing. “Now in its fourth year, this award is in honor of the late Ron Davidson, the long-time Editor-in-Chief of Physics of Plasmas.”
Dr. Dahlin is being honored for his article, “The mechanisms of electron heating and acceleration during magnetic reconnection,” which was selected from the most highly cited and most highly downloaded articles published in Physics of Plasmas during the past five years. His co-authors are Dr. James Drake, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, and Dr. Marc Swisdak, of the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics at the University of Maryland.
“It is a great honor to be recognized with an award bearing Ron Davidson’s name, given his broad and influential contributions to the field of plasma physics. Since my co-authors and I published our work, it has been exciting and deeply gratifying to see how other researchers have used and built on the ideas we laid out,” commented Dr. Dahlin.
The paper explored the mechanisms for electron acceleration caused by collision-less magnetic reconnection in plasma with a magnetic guide field sufficient for adiabatic electron motion. In a follow-up paper, “Electron acceleration in three-dimensional magnetic reconnection with a guide field,” Physics of Plasmas 22, 100704 (2015), Dahlin and his co-authors showed a dramatic enhancement of energetic electron production in 3D systems where stochastic magnetic fields enable continuous access to volume-filling acceleration regions.
According to Spiro K. Antiochos, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Space Weather at NASA GSFC, “Joel Dahlin’s results on particle acceleration during magnetic reconnection, especially on the effects of a guide field, may well be the key to finally understanding two decades-old major puzzles in the plasma physics of solar flares: How are flares so efficient at accelerating electrons, and why does the acceleration occur only during the early, impulsive phase of a flare?”
This year’s award selection committee, consisting of Daniel Clark, Ph.D. (National Ignition Facility, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, representing the APS-DPP, and the award’s 2018 recipient) and Elena Belova, Ph.D. (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory), Robert Merlino, Ph.D. (University of Iowa), Abhijit Sen, Ph.D. (Institute for Plasma Research), and Fulvio Zonca, Ph.D. (ENEA Frascati Research Center) from the Physics of Plasmas Editorial Board, reviewed the top-cited articles and nominated several authors from across the topical focus areas of Physics of Plasmas. The final selection was made by vote of the full Editorial Board.
Dr. Dahlin will be presented with the Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics on Tuesday, October 22 (5:30 pm EDT) at the reception for Physics of Plasmas authors and invited speakers during the 61st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics (in the Waterway Room on the First Floor Level of the Tower Building, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina).
ABOUT THE RONALD C. DAVIDSON AWARD FOR PLASMA PHYSICS
The award is provided by AIP Publishing in honor of Ronald Davidson’s exceptional contributions as Editor-in-Chief of Physics of Plasmas for 25 years. The annual award of $5,000 is presented in collaboration with the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics and recognizes outstanding plasma physics research by a Physics of Plasmas author.
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