This grant will provide partial support for American graduate and postdoctoral students to participate in an international 2nd Graduate Summer Institute on Complex Plasmas, which will be held from August 4 to August 14, 2010 at the University of Greifswald in Greifswald, Germany. The stated goal is educational advancement of the scientific challenges and technological opportunities afforded by complex plasmas.
The summer school will treat dusty and strongly coupled plasmas, reactive plasmas, microplasmas, quantum plasmas, and plasmas in contact with surfaces. This broad yet rigorous curriculum will lead to further advancement in this new and emerging field by attracting young American researchers in significant numbers since they will encounter scientific challenges as well as technological opportunities in these areas upon which they can build a successful academic or industrial careers. Further, the emerging complex plasma applications appear to be a remarkable fertile field for small, high-tech start-up companies which will perceive this field as a favorable innovation source for marketplace realization of basic plasma concepts.
Project Summary This grant provided participatory and travel funds for six American graduate and postdoctoral students to attend the 2nd Graduate Summer Institute on Complex Plasmas, which was held from August 5 to August 13, 2010 in Greifswald, Germany. There were 46 graduate and postdoctoral students in attendance at this summer school from a total of eight countries including the United States. The other countries in attendance were Germany (27 attendees), Hungary (4), Poland (1), India(2), Pakistan (1), Spain (1) and Norway (2). There were 18 presenters from 4 countries Germany (12), USA (4 presenters, including the Principal Investigator Valencia Johnson), UK (1) and Hungary (1). Project Outcomes The major purpose of this summer institute was to assist in the education and training of the next generation of researchers in plasma science specifically in complex plasmas. This one time grant from the National Science Foundation was to support the continued education and career development of U.S. graduate and postdoctoral students. Appropriate candidates were chosen by sending out announcement emails to complex plasma research groups in the US. An application form was required. Recipients were: Stephanie Wissel, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; Jerry Ross, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; Angela Douglass, Baylor University; Desire Miessein, Stevens Institute of Technology; Dustin Fisher, Dartmouth College; Kenji Fujioka, formerly City University of New York. Two of the recipients are involved in science education at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and have opportunities to share the information presented with many other graduate students and early career professionals in the plasma field. The others are at various stages in their doctoral work. Although this grant did not produce major findings, the participation of these domestic early career scientists in the summer institute served to bring new researchers into this important field. At this point, only time will reveal the fruit of the opportunity provided by these travel funds to the US participants of the Summer Institute on Complex Plasmas. As the technological applications offered by plasmas are broad and of very high importance to the US and global economy, it is directly reasoned that the furtherance of the education of the domestic research of complex plasmas will reap future technological progress for all humanity. Further, due to the great success of this 2nd Summer Institute, it is anticipated that in August 2012, the third educational workshop on complex plasma will be organized once again. Although, the dates have yet to be set the next Summer Institute on Complex Plasmas is expected to be hosted in the United States likely in the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area. The hope is that locally organizing this summer school in the United States will allow more interested US students to attend and participate in this educational series.