U.S. Department of Energy Expert Gives Lecture on Plasma and Fusion

Jan. 20, 2016

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Media Contact: Tonya Lewis (254) 710-4656

WACO, Texas (Jan. 20, 2016) –James W. Van Dam, Ph.D, the research division director for the office of fusion energy sciences in the U.S. department of energy, will lecture from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20 on plasma and fusion energy that is produced by plasma.

The seminar will take place in Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) Room 3160.

Van Dam's lecture, "The U.S. Fusion Energy Sciences Program," will explore topics such as low-temperature plasmas, high-energy-density plasmas and solar, space and astrophysical plasmas. In addition, Van Dam will discuss how high-temperature plasmas can be confined by magnetic fields to produce fusion energy, explaining the concept of fusion as well as how the U.S. fusion energy sciences program operates.

The event is presented by the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics, and Engineering Research (CASPER), a research center located at Baylor University.

Truell Hyde, Ph.D, vice provost of research and the director of CASPER, said the program invited Van Dam because he is a top expert in the field of plasma physics.

"Baylor does a lot of complex plasma physics and actually has one of the strongest programs in the world in both theoretical and experimental plasma physics," Hyde said.

He encouraged students outside the physics department to attend.

"A lot of the reason Baylor is so good as an undergraduate university is that it gives students a chance to broaden their minds and chances to hear from experts in all disciplines," he said. "Attending lectures outside of their field will widen students' intellectual horizons and allows them to become well-versed in a variety of disciplines."

Van Dam's lecture is the first in a CASPER seminar series that will continue throughout the semester.

The event is free and open to the public. CASPER is located at 100 Research Parkway, Waco, TX 76704.

by Jenna Press, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) is a stand-alone research center located at Baylor University. CASPER teams conduct research in a number of theoretical and experimental areas and offer both basic research as well as engineering and design opportunities for graduate, undergraduate, technical support and high school students as well as grade school, middle school and high school teachers. For more information, visit www.baylor.edu/CASPER.

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