The GEC (Gaseous Electronics Conference) is the leading international conference in the science and technology of LTP (Low Temperature Plasmas) combined with collision physics (CP). The conference has been the venue of the first presentations on world leading developments in investigations of LTP and CP, from lighting and lasers, to plasma materials processing and plasma-medicine. The invited speakers represent the world's leading scientists in LTP and CP. The future of any field depends upon attracting bright young people. The GEC has a strong tradition of encouraging and promoting student participation. The GEC has an enviable reputation of being the first conference that many of the leading members of the community presented their first research results as graduate students. This award pays partial travel support for PhD students in the US to attend and present the results of their work at the meeting.

The broader impacts of this proposal include the opportunity for young US scientists to attend one of the most important conferences in their field. They will have the opportunity to observe firsthand the scientific and cultural diversity of the field, and establish what will hopefully be career long collaborations with their international counterparts. The GEC makes a special effort to support graduate students who are women and underrepresented minorities.

Project Report

The purpose of the present $8000 grant from the NSF was to provide partial support for students enrolled in PhD programs in a US university to attend the 2011 GEC (Gaseous Electronics Conference) meeting which was held November 15-18, 2011 at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The GEC is an annual topical meeting of the American Physical Society, combining aspects of atomic, molecular, and optical physics with electric gas discharge physics and chemistry, as well as various applications related to these themes. Fundamental physics themes include atomic and molecular cross section data, plasma diagnostics, measurement of ion and electron distribution functions, as well as kinetic and fluid plasma modeling. Applications include plasma processing of materials, plasma interaction with surfaces, gas-discharge lasers, and lighting. The GEC plays a key role in advancing research in these areas in a variety of ways. In particular, the GEC is the only US conference that brings together members of the atomic, molecular, and optical physics communities with researchers interested in applications of gas discharges and plasmas. Detailed information about the GEC can be found at the conference web site at The PhD advisor of a student who wishes to receive partial support is encouraged to submit a request for support to the GEC Executive Committee. To receive support, the student must present either an oral or poster presentation at the meeting and support is limited to one student per advisor. Students must submit conference-related receipts to at least the value of their award (e.g. for hotel, conference registration, flights or meals) to receive payment of the award which was set by the GEC Executive Committee to be $600. The GEC Executive Committee strives to approve as many requests as possible and for GEC 2011, the Executive Committee received 19 requests for a total of $11,400 - $3,400 more than the NSF grant. To demonstrate the Executive Committee’s strong commitment to student participation, the Committee decided to approve all requests and use other GEC funds to supplement the $8000 NSF grant. The students supported by the NSF travel grant were exposed to the leading international researchers in the Gaseous Electronics community. The oral papers/posters presented at the meeting represented the most recent developments in the field. As a result, it was an invaluable learning experience for the students since they had both the opportunity to learn from the best in the world, present their own research to the top workers in the world, and make contacts for future job possibilities.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Physics (PHY)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Steven J Gitomer
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Missouri University of Science and Technology
United States
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