Dr. Phillip Sprangle Receives Prestigious Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) physicist, Dr. Phillip Sprangle, is the 2013 recipient of the James Clerk Maxwell Prize. Presentation of the award is the highest honor bestowed upon plasma physics researchers and is the first in the laboratory's 90-year history.

Dr.Dr. Phillip Sprangle, Senior Scientist for Directed Energy Physics, Plasma Physics Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, is awarded the American Physical Society James Clerk Maxwell Prize, the most prestigious award in the field of plasma physics.
(Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory)

Presented by the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics, Sprangle is recognized for 'pioneering contributions to the physics of high intensity laser interactions with plasmas and to the development of plasma accelerators, free-electron lasers, gyrotrons, and high current electron accelerators.'

Sprangle's research at NRL spans several decades and a multitude of research disciplines that include the atmospheric propagation of high-energy lasers, ultra-short pulse laser-matter interaction and propagation, nonlinear optics, free electron lasers, and laser driven accelerators.

Chief scientist (ST) for Directed Energy Physics in the Plasma Physics Division, Sprangle received his doctorate in applied physics from Cornell University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the Optical Society of America (OSA).

Sprangle has published over 290 scientific papers, holds 15 U.S. patents and is a Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Maryland. For his dedication to science, Sprangle has also been the recipient of many notable awards that include the 2012 Office of Naval Research Dr. Fred E. Saalfeld Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Science, the 2011 Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Top Navy Scientist and Engineer of the Year Award, Sigma Xi Pure Science Award, International Free Electron Laser Prize, and the E.O. Hulburt Science and Engineering Award.

Established to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of plasma physics, the prize includes a monetary award, recognition at the annual APS Division of Plasma Physics conference, a certificate, and inscribed citation for the prize. The James Clerk Maxwell Prize in plasma physics is an annual APS award, established in 1975 by Maxwell Technologies, Inc., in honor of the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell and is currently sponsored by General Atomics.