Alumnus Wins Award for Outstanding Thesis


The American Physical Society (APS) is honoring an alumnus of the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) for his outstanding doctoral research.

Seth Davidovits, a fellow from 2010 to 2014, received the 2018 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award, recognizing “exceptional young scientists who have performed original thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of plasma physics.”

Rosenbluth was a distinguished plasma physicist whose career included 13 years at DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) from 1967 to 1980.

Davidovits, now a DOE Fusion Energy Postdoctoral Fellow at PPPL, earned his doctorate last year from the Program in Plasma Physics in the Princeton University Department of Astrophysical Sciences.

A PPPL release says Davidovits’ dissertation focused on the theory and simulation of turbulence in compressing fluids, with an emphasis on effects unique to plasma, such as a novel sudden viscous dissipation mechanism. These investigations led to a variety of insights and a new model for turbulence in compressing plasma. The dissertation also applied these insights in a variety of areas, including inertial confinement fusion and astrophysical plasmas.

As a postdoctoral researcher, Davidovits has expanded his work to examine additional turbulent systems and to study the effects of compression in two dimensions rather than three, simulations that are more relevant for z-pinch experiments.