For Immediate Release: October 9, 2007
Contact: Marsha Nishi Mullan
Swarthmore Professor Receives
National Physics Research Award
Michael R. Brown, associate professor of physics at Swarthmore College, has been awarded the American Physical Society's 2008 Prize for a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution. Brown was cited by the Society's selection committee "For his outstanding contributions to plasma physics made possible by his development of a world-class spheromak laboratory at Swarthmore College, and for his energetic mentoring of undergraduate students." He will receive the prize at a special ceremony in April where he will also present a talk about his research.
Brown is the principal investigator in the Swarthmore Spheromak Experiment (SSX) which studies fundamental plasma physics phenomena such as magnetic reconnection using rings of plasma called spheromaks. A co-founder of the Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, his experiments at Swarthmore have received more than $2.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, NSF, Research Corp, Petroleum Research Fund, NASA, and others.
Professor Brown received his Ph.D. from Dartmouth College and came to the Swarthmore faculty in 1994 after doing post-doctoral work at Caltech and teaching at Occidental College. He is a past member of the executive committee of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics and a winner of the Department of Energy Junior Investigator Award.