Three members of Oxford Physics - Professor Justin Wark, Dr Sam Vinko, and Dr Orlando Ciricosta have shared in the 2015 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics. This award from the American Physical Society, established in 1981, recognises a particular recent outstanding achievement in plasma physics research, and is considered one of the premier prizes in the field. The award was presented to them this November at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics, held in Savannah, Georgia.
The prize committee acknowledged their work using the world’s first hard x-ray laser to create and diagnose matter in the laboratory under similar conditions to those that exist half way to the centre of the sun.
The citation reads:
"For creative and novel use of the hard xray free electron laser to isochorically create high density plasmas and accurately measure the ionization potential depression, and for new theory that addresses discrepancies with long standing models and provides stimulus for continued developments.”