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March 2001

The Laboratory in
the News

Commentary by Michael Anastasio

in the Superblock

Computer Simulation Workshop

Research with TEM

Laser Peening




Four Laboratory scientists have been named fellows of the American Physical Society, an honor bestowed on those recognized by their peers for outstanding contributions to physics. The honorees are Robert Cauble, James Hammer, Joseph Nilsen, and Ann Orel Woodin.
Cauble, a senior scientist in the Laboratory's High-Energy-Density Physics and Astrophysics Division, was cited for "important contributions to the understanding of the equation-of-state of dense, strongly coupled plasmas." His work has included using a laser to shock matter to a million atmospheres of pressure to learn more about the behavior of hydrogen, laser fusion, and how stars and planets form and evolve.
Hammer was recognized for his pioneering work in developing novel approaches to fusion and high-energy-density plasma applications, including contributions to the fast igniter inertial confinement fusion (ICF) concept, acceleration of compact toroidal plasma rings, and the use of z-pinch x-ray sources for ICF.
Nilsen was cited for his contributions to the understanding and development of x-ray lasers. He demonstrated the world's shortest-wavelength, highest-energy x-ray laser and discovered the prepulse technique used to drive virtually all x-ray laser systems.
Woodin was honored for "pioneering the understanding and development of theoretical methods for studying excitation, ionization, and dissociation of polyatomic molecules." She divides her time between the Laboratory and the University of California at Davis, where she is a professor in the Department of Applied Sciences.

For the second consecutive year, Bruce Curtis of the Computation Directorate has been a member of a team receiving a Gordon Bell Prize, the most prestigious award in high-performance computing. The team comprises 13 members, and it won in the "special" category for its submission, "High-Performance Reactive Fluid Flow Simulations Using Adaptive Refinement on Thousands of Processors." The paper describes the largest and highest-resolution three-dimensional simulation of a detonation front propagating through stellar material. Curtis says, "This helps determine how a supernova explodes and aids in the understanding of the origin and evolution of the chemical elements."
Dave Cooper, Associate Director for Computation, says of Curtis, "Bruce is a person with almost unique skills. He is one of just a few people in the world who fully understand all of the details of a computer as well as how applications 'fit' on them and run." On Curtis's two consecutive wins, Cooper likens it to "winning back-to-back Oscars!"

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UCRL-52000-01-3 | March 26, 2001