Otto Hahn Medal awarded to young IPP scientist

Conferred by the Max Planck Society for outstanding scientific achievements

May 04, 2016

The outstanding young scientists honored every year with the Otto Hahn Medal by the Max Planck Society again include a fusion research scientist from IPP, Dr. Adreas Stegmeir from the Tokamak Division.


Andreas Stegmeir’s method allows turbulence whose structure is very stringy (red) to be described in both the plasma core and at the plasma edg.

The Otto Hahn Medal is being awarded for Dr. Stegmeir’s investigation on the structure of turbulence in magnetically confined fusion plasmas. In his PhD thesis he devised a completely new approach for describing turbulent particle motion in plasma on the basis of fundamental physical relationships. These ab-initio simulations overcame a problem of previous methods, which were able to describe turbulence in the plasma core, but not at the plasma edge, where the magnetic field lines in the ring-shaped plasma vessel no longer circulate closed upon themselves, but open up towards the bottom of the vessel.

It is this very transition zone – i.e. directly inside the boundary separating closed and open field line areas – that is decisive for the quality of plasma confinement. The turbulence properties in this zone are expected to change appreciably. By means of a model for drift wave turbulence Andreas Stegmeir was in fact able to identify fundamental changes. His model can readily be generalised to more complex physics models. This research field, hitherto only to be treated by semi-empirical methods has thus been made accessible to basic treatment.

The Otto Hahn Medal is awarded every year by the Max Planck Society to young scientists from its more than 80 institutes for outstanding scientific achievements. The award, endowed with 7,500 euros, will be conferred on Andreas Stegmeir in June at the Plenary Session of the Max Planck Society.

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