National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA supports award-winning graduate research in lasers and plasma

November 10, 2016

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Dr. Michael RosenbergDuring a ceremony banquet at the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics’ annual meeting last week, Dr. Michael Rosenberg was presented with the 2016 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award.

Rosenberg is a research associate at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics, stationed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility, where he leads experiments to understand laser-plasma interactions.

Rosenberg’s dissertation work was supported by the National Laser Users Facility program and a High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP) grant, both administered by the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program in NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs.

NNSA supports research in HEDLP jointly with the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Through this program, research activities develop and maintain a team of qualified researchers to support science-based stockpile stewardship. Rosenberg’s thesis advisor was Dr. Richard Petrasso, a longtime contributor to Inertial Confinement Fusion Program initiatives through the HEDLP program.

The Rosenbluth Award provides recognition to exceptional young scientists who have performed original, outstanding thesis work in plasma physics. In addition to the recognition and certificate, the award consists of a $2,000 cash prize.

Rosenberg earned his bachelor’s degree in physics in 2008. He continued his studies in plasma physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joining the High Energy Density Physics Division at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He achieved his doctorate in plasma physics in 2014.

Rosenberg’s award-winning dissertation research spanned multiple areas in high energy density physics and fundamental plasma physics, and was titled, “Studies of Ion Kinetic Effects in Shock-Driven Inertial Confinement Fusion Implosions at OMEGA and the NIF and Magnetic Reconnection Using Laser-Produced Plasmas at OMEGA.”

The American Physical Society’s citation designates the award to Rosenberg, “For first experimental demonstration of the importance of kinetic and multi-ion effects on fusion rates in a wide class of inertial confinement fusion implosions, and for use of proton diagnostics to unveil new features of magnetic reconnection in laser-generated plasmas.”