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Olivier Sauter received the John Dawson Award

© 2014 EPFL

© 2014 EPFL

The 'John Dawson award for excellence in plasma physics research' was awarded to five physicists including Dr. MER Olivier Sauter for particular outstanding achievement in plasma physics research. The winners have especially predicted and developed a technique by which current is driven in the plasma by injection of microwaves to stabilize plasma instabilities.

At the last conference of the Plasma Division of the American Physical Society (APS), Dr. MER Olivier Sauter and four of his colleagues, Profs. J. D. Callen and C. Hegna, University of Wisconsin, Dr. R. J. La Haye, General Atomics and Prof. H. Zohm, Max Planck Institut für Plasmaphysik, received the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research.
This award recognizes both their theoretical and experimental work on the stabilization of oscillations that occur in tokamak plasmas when the pressure becomes too high. In particular, they showed that the injection of microwaves launched at specific angles locally generates an excess current in the plasma and that the surplus of current allowed to significantly reduce the amplitude of the oscillations and to stabilize these modes. These results are of the utmost importance since fusion reactors should be operated at the highest pressure possible but without these oscillations which would otherwise reduce significantly the performance.

The citation reads:
“For the theoretical prediction and experimental demonstration of neoclassical tearing mode stabilization by localized electron cyclotron current drive.”