Fusion researcher Robert Goldston, a Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences and former director of PPPL, received the 2015 Nuclear Fusion Award for the most outstanding paper to appear in the journal Nuclear Fusion during 2012. The award, presented in October at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Fusion Energy Conference in Kyoto, Japan, recognizes papers that have made the greatest scientific impact in the two years following their publication.
Goldston’s paper presented a new model for estimating the width of the scrape-off layer, the hot plasma exhausted from the closed magnetic surfaces of tokamaks. Such plasmas must be wide enough to avoid delivering a thin and concentrated blow that could damage the walls of the exhaust — or divertor — chamber where the heat is dissipated.
The editorial board of Nuclear Fusion cited Goldston’s model as, “Potentially one of the most important results obtained in recent years in fusion” research. The estimate “provides a simple yet elegant model for the scrape-off layer power width,” the editors said, “and ultimately could have significant impact on the future direction of the field.”