CASPER Seminar Series Presents - Dr. James W. Van Dam - "The U.S. Fusion Energy Sciences Program"

DateJanuary 20, 2016
Time2:00 - 3:00 pm
LocationBRIC Room 3160
DescriptionDr. James W. Van Dam

Research Division Director, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy


The U.S. Fusion Energy Sciences Program

Abstract: Plasma, the so-called fourth state of matter, is pervasive throughout the universe, with
many diverse scientific manifestations. The U.S. Department of Energy supports plasma science
research ranging from low-temperature plasmas, high energy density plasmas, and warm dense
matter, to solar, space, and astrophysical plasmas. A large research effort is also devoted to studying
how high-temperature plasmas can be confined by magnetic fields in the laboratory--ultimately for the
production of fusion energy. The ITER experimental facility, to be operated as an international project
by a consortium of international member countries representing more than 50% of the world’s
population, will push research into the frontier regime of “burning plasmas,” which are self-heated and
self-sustaining. This talk will explain what fusion is, describe how the U.S. fusion energy sciences
program operates, and point to some career opportunities.

Bio: Dr. Van Dam received his doctorate in plasma physics from UCLA, and he was a Visiting
Member for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 1979-1980. He was a research
scientist for the Institute for Fusion Studies at the University of Texas at Austin from 1980-2011, and
was the director from 2003-2011. Dr. Van Dam was the director of the U.S. Burning Plasma
Organization at the U.S. Department of Energy from 2007-2011. He was also the U.S. Chief Scientist
for the ITER Project from 2007-2011.

For more information, contact Sherri Honza at 254-710-1271

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PublisherCenter for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research (CASPER)
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