Thursday, November 17, 2011

Setting up for the Big Day and Recognizing Student Poster Winners

By John DeLooper
(Reporting from the American Physical Society meeting this week in Salt Lake City)

PPPL's Plasma Expo display: The calm before the storm

Today was a relatively easy day. Stephanie Wissel, Aliya Merali, Deedee Ortiz and I set up the PPPL booth for the Plasma Expo which will happen Thursday, Nov. 17. This involves unpacking two pallets of supplies containing more than 600 pounds of materials and setting up our display (as shown in the photo) and building the plasma displays we will use to teach students about plasma, the fourth state of matter. We are expecting more than 1,200 students each day. In addition, we will open the display to the public on Thursday evening.

While staff from PPPL and other research centers – including General Atomics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Nevada Test site, University of Wisconsin, and ITER—worked to set up displays, the meeting continued with presentations and posters sessions.

This evening the banquet will occur. The featured speaker will be Alan Nathan who will speak on the Physics of Baseball. But the more important item will be the announcement of the winners of the student poster competition.

Here are the winners, out of 76 contenders:

• “Study of Sheath Potential and Plasma Density Profiles in the Presence of Strong Secondary Electron Emission from Walls” by Huy-Sinh Trung, University of Virginia, research conducted at PPPL.

• “Breaking the Four-fold Symmetry in the Paul Trap Simulator Experiment”, Stewart Koppel, University of Texas at Austin, research conducted at PPPL.

• “Simulation of Shear Alfen Waves in LAPD using the BOUT++ code”, Di Wei, University of Denver, research conducted at UCLA.

• “Ramifications of Driven Spontaneous Flow and Turbulent Transport on Cross-correlation Functions in the Large Plasma Device”, Giovanni Rossi, UCLA, research conducted at UCLA.

• “Oscillation Modes of a Relativistic Drifting Cold Plasma”, Michael Meyers, Drake University, research conducted at Los Alamos.

• “Optimization of Neutron Activation of Carbon at the NIF, Danae Polsin and Megan Russ”, SUNY Geneseo.

It is also important to recognize the mentors for the 76 posters. Each student had one or more mentors who devoted 10 weeks of time and effort. This is critical—it’s how we bring new scientists into the research world.
--John DeLooper is the head of outreach and best practices at PPPL

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