Greifswald’s Osthoff Plasma Physics Prize awarded

IPP scientist Benedikt Geiger honoured for outstanding achievements in plasma physics

May 24, 2017

The Hans Werner Osthoff Plasma Physics Prize 2016 is to be awarded to Dr. Benedikt Geiger from Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP). The prize is in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of plasma physics and serves to support junior scientists in particular. The prize, endowed with 3,000 euros, is to be conferred on 1 June 2017 on the occasion of an academic ceremony at Greifswald University.

IPP scientist Dr. Benedikt Geiger, born in 1982 in Rosenheim, is internationally known for his investigations on magnetic confinement of fast plasma particles: The objective of fusion research is to derive energy from fusion of atomic nuclei, just as the sun does. Igniting the fusion fire in a future power plant requires that the fuel, viz. a low-density hydrogen plasma, be confined in magnetic fields and heated to high temperatures.

After ignition, the fast helium nuclei that occur in the fusion process ensure with their high kinetic energy that the plasma keeps its temperature. It is decisive that the helium particles remain confined in the magnetic cage long enough to allow their energy to be passed on to the plasma. Benedikt Geiger developed an optical measuring system at Garching’s ASDEX Upgrade fusion device that affords new insight into the motion and confinement of these fast particles.

In 2015 he was selected in a competition sponsored by the Helmholtz Association as head of a group of young IPP scientists to work in the field of particle transport. This research work will be conducted at both the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak in Garching and the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator in Greifswald. Comparative experiments are to show how the different structures of the magnetic cages affect the confinement of plasma particles and impurity particles.

The Hans Werner Osthoff Prize was endowed in 1994 by Professor Hans Werner Osthoff in commemoration of his years of study at Greifswald, on the occasion of the establishment of IPP’s site at Greifswald. On the basis of proposals from colleagues in the field, awards are decided by an endowment council comprising representatives from the donator’s family, the Institute of Physics at Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald, Leibniz Institute of Plasma Research and Technology at Greifswald, and Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics.

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