Richard Temkin

PSFC Associate Director Richard Temkin

Photo: Paul Rivenberg

Temkin named IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Award Winner

PSFC  |  MIT News

Dr. Richard J. Temkin, a senior scientist in the Department of Physics and associate director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), has been named as the recipient of the 2013 IEEE Plasma Science and Application Award. Temkin, who heads the Waves and Beams Division at the PSFC, was cited "for fundamental contributions to the field of high power gyrotrons and their application."

The IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Award is given annually “to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of Plasma Science in research or new applications.” The prize consists of a plaque, $3,000 cash award and an invitation to present a talk in the award year's International Conference on Plasma Science. The text of that talk will be published as an invited paper in the journal IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science.

Temkin is a pioneer in research and development of high-power and high frequency gyrotrons. Gyrotrons are a form of electron cyclotron maser in which powerful beams of electrons propagating in vacuum in a high magnetic field radiate coherently at their cyclotron frequency. Very high-frequency output is achieved by using high-field superconducting magnets.

Gyrotrons are the most powerful source of radiation in the millimeter and terahertz frequency range, a range of frequencies that lies between the microwave region and the optical region. Gyrotrons are used for heating plasmas in the program of research on nuclear fusion energy; enhanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of biomolecules; studies of gas and air breakdown by intense millimeter wave radiation; materials heating and processing; nuclear material detection; cancer detection and cancer therapy; terahertz imaging; high power radars for weather and defense; and food processing and purification.

Temkin will be presented with the award at this year’s IEEE Pulsed Power & Plasma Science Conference, to be held in San Francisco from June 16-21.

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