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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Plasma 2010: An Assessment of and Outlook for Plasma Science



Plasma Science: Advancing Knowledge in the National Interest

Released May 2007

As part of its current physics decadal survey, Physics 2010, the NRC was asked by the DOE, NSF, and NASA to carry out an assessment of and outlook for the broad field of plasma science and engineering over the next several years. The study was to focus on progress in plasma research, identify the most compelling new scientific opportunities, evaluate prospects for broader application of plasmas, and offer guidance to realize these opportunities. The study paid particular attention to these last two points. This "demand-side" perspective provided a clear look at what plasma research can do to help achieve national goals of fusion energy, economic competitiveness, and nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship. The report provides an examination of the broad themes that frame plasma research: low-temperature plasma science and engineering; plasma physics at high energy density; plasma science of magnetic fusion; space and astrophysical science; and basic plasma science. Within those themes, the report offers a bold vision for future developments in plasma science.

Committee Members and NRC Staff

Steven C. Cowley, Co-Chair, University of California at Los Angeles
John Peoples, Co-Chair, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
James Callen, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Franklin R. Chang-Diaz, NASA Johnson Space Center
Todd Ditmire, University of Texas at Austin
William Dorland, University of Maryland at College Park
Walter Gekelman, University of California at Los Angeles
Steven Girshick, University of Minnesota
David Hammer, Cornell University
Erich P. Ippen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mark J. Kushner, Iowa State University
Kristina A. Lynch, Dartmouth College
Jonathan E. Menard, Princeton University
Lia Merminga, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Eliot Quataert, University of California at Berkeley
Timothy J. Sommerer, General Electric, Inc.
Clifford M. Surko, University of California at San Diego
Max Tabak, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

NRC Staff

Donald C. Shapero, Director
Timothy I. Meyer, Senior Program Officer
Michael Moloney, Senior Program Officer
Pamela Lewis, Program Associate

Related Links

The Plasma 2010 committee and its report will follow in the footsteps of the Surko-Ahearne report prepared in 1995 with similar aims.


The committee is pleased to acknowledge support from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.