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Professor Toshiki Tajima

Norman Rostoker Chair Professorship
University of California at Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697

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Professor Toshiki Tajima Awarded AAPPS Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Prize of Plasma Physics
Association of Asia-Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) Division of Plasma Physics (AAPPS-DPP)
Subramanyan Chandrasekhar Prize of Plasma Physics [CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS]
– Professor Toshiki Tajima is selected as Laureate of 2018 –
The Division of Plasma Physics (Chair: Mitsuru Kikuchi) under the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (President: Gui-Lu Long) selected Professor Toshiki Tajima of the University of California at Irvine as the 2018 Laureates of S. Chandrasekhar Prize of Plasma Physics, which is awarded to scientists who have made seminal / pioneering contributions in the field of plasma physics. The S. Chandrasekhar Prize is an internationally authoritative annual prize awarded to an outstanding scientist (s) in the field of plasma physics as a basis for astrophysics or fusion research, and plasma applications. Award ceremony will be held at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Plasma Physics held in Kanazawa city from November 12-17 in 2018.
Citation:
For wide-ranging contributions to plasma physics, in particular for the discovery and invention of extremely intense (relativistic) laser-driven wakefields as robust and long-lasting plasma states, with broad impacts on high energy particle acceleration and other applications, including medicine; in which he exerted leadership to launch high field science and to form large new research communities.
Original Story:  http://aappsdpp.org/AAPPSDPPF/prizetable.html
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MESSAGE FROM ROGER MCWILLIAMS, UCI SCHOOL OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES ASSOCIATE DEAN:
Dear Toshi,
 Heartiest congratulations on Chandrasekhar Prize selection!
 Your inclusion in the laureates of this prize is especially meaningful in light of the prize name and previous winners.
 Chandrasekhar’s 1943 Reviews of Modern Physics “Stochastic Problems in Physics and Astronomy” was taught to me in graduate school by Carl Oberman and Predhiman Kaw, vastly influencing my experimental methods via the Markoff methods Chandrasekhar extolled so well. This introduction by Carl and Predhiman opened awareness to, and appreciation of the powerful Setsuo Ichimaru statistical physics approach to plasma physics.
 Ichimaru, so influential to you Toshi, was the first Chandrasekhar Prize winner and Predhiman Kaw was the second. You have the great joy of being associated alongside such giants and also to have made your own giant contributions in the continuing importance of the spirit of Chandresekhar.
 Congratulations!
 Cheers,
Roger
RESPONSE FROM TOSHIKI TAJIMA:
        I am humbled by the news of this award.
        Such an award arrives at my doorstep only because I was incubated by the great Anteater mentor and am immersed in the illustrious colleagues of mine here.
        When I became a graduate student of the late Professor Norman Rostoker at UCI in 1973, his lab (and such students as Dr. Rick Mako, who has become another Anteater alumnus) was conducting experiments called collective ion acceleration by using plasma. Norman (and thus UCI) was the leader in this collective acceleration at that time.  My spending substantial time in 1973-1975 at that lab taught me valuable lessons on this burgeoning field, which eventually blossomed in our work with John Dawson at UCLA in 1979, as quoted in the award. One of the earliest experimental demonstrations of laser wakefield acceleration was based on the highly compressed ultrashort ultraintense laser in Osaka that Professor Chris Barty of UCI helped construct in 1990’s. Laser wakefields and their applications have been shown in many labs around the world since then to such broad areas as ultrafast radiolysis, betatron radiation, relativistic flying mirrors, etc.
       Fast forward, wakefield acceleration also was found instrumental in cosmic ray particle acceleration and gamma ray bursts from black holes (BH). With our colleagues here (such as Professor Kev Abazajian) we have identified gamma ray bursts are correlated with wakefield acceleration from BH (or neutron star) jets. Recent discovery by Professor Barry Barish of LIGO (Caltech) shows in fact the gravitational wave emission precedes gamma rays bursts, which is predicted from the wakefield mechanism. Thus once again, I feel that UCI is a warm cradle of our collective wakefield acceleration and now cosmic gamma bursts and I am happy that I am surrounded by such a galaxy of intellectual giant stars and ideas.
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CLICK HERE to read Dr. Tajima’s new article “Toilet Science” [July 2018]

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*CLICK HERE for Norman Rostoker Memorial Symposium details,
and to download the Conference Proceedings, published by AIP.

Professor Tajima is a theoretician whose research investigates accelerator physics, plasma physics, fusion, laser physics, astrophysics and medical applications of physics, authoring over 500 papers and 8 books in total. Most prominently, he is the inventor (with Prof. John Dawson) of laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA) and has been involved in a number of theoretical and collaborative experimental projects around the world.

Professor Toshiki Tajima currently holds the Rostoker Chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UC Irvine, which aims to extend Professor Norman Rostoker’s legacy in plasma physics and applied physics. Tajima was Professor Rostoker’s first PhD student at UC Irvine. Between his stints at UC Irvine, he was The Jane and Roland Blumberg Professor in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, where, among other projects, he started the first DoE-sponsored laser wakefield acceleration project (with Prof. Downer) in 1993. He also part of the team that first demonstrated the experimental Proof-of-Principle of LWFA in 1994,1995. He subsequently served as Director-General of the Kansai Photon Science Institute of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency as well as Chair Professor at Ludwig Maximilian University.

He has been serving as Chair of the International Committee for Ultrahigh Intensity Lasers (ICUIL), Chairman of Extreme Light Infrastructure-Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) International Science Advisory Board, Deputy Director of the International Center for Zetta- and Exawatt Science and Technology (IZEST) based at École Polytechnique, and a Member of Visiting Committee of CEA of France. Currently, Prof. Tajima also serves as Chief Science Officer of Tri Alpha Energy, a private company that aims to develop and commercialize fusion energy technology.

He has been awarded the Enrico Fermi Prize (Italian Physical Society), the Nishina Memorial Prize (Nishina Memorial Foundation), the Blaise Pascal Chair award (France), and the Einstein Professorship (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Fellow of American Physical Society, among other honors.

Research expertise and fields: high field science, laser acceleration, ultrafast science, crossfield of laser and accelerator, accelerator-driven fusion. He exercises leadership in the two major fields in the world: (1) the laser-driven acceleration and high field science;  (2) the science of beam-driven aneutronic fusion.

Current interests and projects: laser electron and ion acceleration, zeptosecond coherent X-rays, photo-nuclear physics, beam-driven Field Reversed Configuration, medical applications of accelerators, lasers, and fusion.

Norman Rostoker Chair Activities 2014-2015
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine

Full Circle:  Connecting Accelerators and Fusion
UCI School of Physical Sciences Interview (June, 2014)