Sabbagh Receives 2009 Nuclear Fusion Award
The International Atomic Energy Agency awarded the 2009 Nuclear Fusion Award to Adjunct Professor and Research Scientist, Steven A. Sabbagh, et al. for their landmark paper "Resistive wall stabilized operation in rotating high beta NSTX plasmas."
The authors, working on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), have demonstrated the advantages of low aspect ratio geometry in accessing high toroidal and normalized plasma beta. This is a landmark paper, which not only reports record parameters of beta in a large spherical torus plasma, but also presents a thorough investigation of the physics of Resistive Wall Mode (RWM) instability beyond the no-wall limit. Sabbagh et al. observed the RWM instability with toroidal mode number up to 3, determined that Bondeson-Chu theory on kinetic damping of RWM described the experimental observation, tested the observed rotation damping against neoclassical theory, and documented resonant field amplification at high beta. The paper addresses an issue of critical importance, using a spherical torus, with direct relevance to conventional tokamaks. The fusion power in the technology phase of ITER will depend on the degree of RWM stabilization that can be achieved, which underlines the importance of the authors' contribution.
Based on citation performance and with recommendations and discussion by the journal's Board of Editors, 11 papers were short-listed for the award. The winning paper, judged to make the greatest scientific impact, was then determined by secret ballot of the Board.
IOP Publishing has generously made a contribution of $2500 to be presented to Dr. Sabbagh.