Dr. Gerald Cooperstein Elected IEEE Fellow

12/11/2009 - 80-09r
Contact: Dom Panciarelli, (202) 767-2541

Dr. Gerald Cooperstein, head of the Pulsed Power Physics Branch in the Naval Research Laboratory's Plasma Physics Division, has been elected a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is recognized "for contributions to pulsed-power and intense electron and ion-beam technologies and development of x-ray sources for pulsed radiography."

According to the IEEE, elevation to IEEE Fellow is a prestigious honor awarded each year to no more than 0.1% of the full IEEE membership by the Institute Board of Directors. Nominations are made from among Senior Members and nominees must be supported by at least six Fellows. After being reviewed and ranked by the appropriate IEEE Society, the nominations are forwarded to the Institute's Fellow Committee who then recommend a list of candidates to the IEEE Board of Directors for their consideration.

Dr. Cooperstein received both his B.S. degree in physics in 1963 and Ph.D degree in experimental high-energy physics in 1968, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His first two positions were with EG&G and Ion Physics Corporation in Massachusetts. Dr. Cooperstein joined NRL in 1971, as a section head of the Plasma Physics Division, where he was responsible for intense electron beam research on the Gamble I high-voltage, pulsed-power generator.

Dr. Cooperstein has an exceptional record of achievement for over three decades in the technology and applications of high-voltage pulsed-power with emphasis on intense electron and ion beam generation. His most distinctive contributions started with understanding the role of ions in self-pinched electron beam diodes which led to the first experiments on generation, focusing and transport with high current (~0.5 MA) ion beams in the mid-70's. This work helped spawn light ion-beam Inertial Confinement Fusion research at Sandia National Laboratories and in several countries around the world. Most recently, Dr. Cooperstein and his group are using these intense ion beams to generate intense pulses of characteristic gamma-rays and neutrons for the detection of special nuclear material. In the 1980's, he contributed to the first demonstration of power multiplication using both short and long-conduction-time plasma opening switches, offering the promise of compact, inductively-driven pulsed-power generators. Again, this work spawned numerous research efforts around the world. Dr. Cooperstein's most distinctive contribution is the development of the rod-pinch diode where his research efforts and managerial leadership over the last decade have led to major improvements in the intensity and spot-size of intense pulsed x-ray radiography sources.

Dr. Cooperstein was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1987. He was a guest editor of a special issue of IEEE "Transactions of Plasma Science" (December 1987), devoted to plasma opening switches, and a special issue devoted to pulsed-power science and technology (April 1997). In 1992, he served as co-chairman of BEAMS '92, the 9th International Conference of High-Power Particle Beams in Washington, DC. In 1995, Dr. Cooperstein served as technical chairman of the 10th IEEE International Pulsed-Power Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and in 1997 chairman of the 11th IEEE International Pulsed-Power Conference in Baltimore, MD. In addition, he served as co-editor of the published proceedings for all three conferences. Dr. Cooperstein received the 1999 IEEE Peter Haas Pulsed-Power Award, and the 2007 NRL Sigma Xi Applied Science Award. He is currently the head of NRL's Pulsed-Power Physics Branch, which is responsible for research into the technology and applications of pulsed-power science. Under his leadership, the branch performs pioneering research in the areas of: intense electron and ion beams, intense x-ray sources, plasma opening switches, inductive energy storage, electromagnetic launchers, active detection of fissile material, and advanced energetics via stimulated nuclear decay. Dr. Cooperstein has authored or co-authored over 150 publications in many of these topic areas.

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