Distinguished University Professor Thomas Antonsen Honored by the American Physical Society

University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor Thomas M. Antonsen Jr. will receive the American Physical Society’s (APS) 2023 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics for “pioneering contributions in the theory of magnetized plasma stability, RF, current drive, laser-plasma interactions, and charged particle beam dynamics.” He will be honored at the 65th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics in October 2023.

Thomas Antonsen headshot
Thomas Antonsen

The James Clerk Maxwell Prize annually recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of plasma physics. The prize is named after a 19th-century Scottish physicist known for his work with electricity, magnetism and light.

Antonsen holds joint appointments in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Department of Physics and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics. Antonsen joined UMD in 1980 as a research associate in the Laboratory for Plasma and Fusion Energy Studies. He became an associate professor in 1984, a professor in 1989 and a Distinguished University Professor in 2017. Antonsen also served as acting director of the Institute for Plasma Research at UMD from 1998 to 2000. 

Antonsen is highly recognized for his research in plasma theory, nonlinear dynamics and chaos. His work has applications in the international efforts toward achieving magnetically confined controlled nuclear fusion and toward developing a new generation of plasma-based particle accelerators. Antonsen has also developed a widely adopted set of software codes for designing and simulating devices that produce intense microwaves for plasma heating, radar and communications applications. 

Antonsen received the Department of Defense Robert L. Woods Award for excellence in vacuum electronics technology in 1999, the IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Award in 2003, the UMD Clark School of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Research Award in 2004, and the IEEE John R. Pierce Award for Excellence in Vacuum Electronics in 2016. He is also a fellow of the APS and IEEE. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Cornell University.

Article adapted from UMD's A. James Clark School of Engineering.

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