The Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society has selected Livermore researcher Peter Beiersdorfer as recipient of the 2016 Laboratory Astrophysics Prize. This honor is given each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to laboratory astrophysics over an extended period of time. The society cited Beiersdorfer for his numerous contributions to the study of astronomical environments at extreme-ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths.

Beiersdorfer pioneered techniques to reproduce conditions on comets and in the Sun’s atmosphere, interstellar space, and the centers of galaxies. A major focus of his research is atomic and molecular diagnostics as revealed by x-ray spectra. Beiersdorfer’s studies of emissions from the inner electron shells of iron, oxygen, neon, silicon, and sulfur are widely used today to interpret the physical conditions in astronomical environments. His work on x-ray emission from charge exchange revealed the importance of this process in cometary atmospheres. Beiersdorfer has carried out laboratory astrophysics work at the Livermore electron beam ion trap facility since 1991 and conducted laboratory astrophysics measurements at U.S. magnetic fusion facilities, most notably the National Spherical Torus Experiment at Princeton. With his collaborators, Beiersdorfer has published more than 500 scientific papers, more than 50 of which have appeared in Astrophysical Journal, Science, or Nature.


Laboratory materials scientist Vince Lordi was selected to receive a 2016 Young Leaders Professional Development Award from the Functional Materials Division of The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS). This award was created to enhance the professional development of dynamic young people from TMS’ five technical divisions by helping them participate in society activities, network with TMS leaders and prominent members, and otherwise gain the experience and insight needed to become future leaders in the society’s administration. The award was formally presented on February 15, 2016, at the 145th TMS Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.


Kevin Fournier, Steve Compton, and Bill Dunlop were part of a team recognized with the 2015 Alan Berman Publication Award for a paper reporting on shock-wave experiments. The paper, “High-power laser and explosive driven shock wave characterization in solids using fiber optic probes,” was presented at the International Society for Optics and Photonics’ 24th International Conference on Optical Fiber Sensors and reported on studies of shock wave transmission and propagation in solid media using fiber optic pressure and velocity probes. The work was sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Fournier et al. were coauthors on the paper along with collaborators from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and SRI International. The Berman Award was established by Alan Berman, a past director of the NRL, to recognize the best published technical writing in each NRL scientific division.