Travis Sjostrom honored for excellence in plasma physics research

Los Alamos scientist selected for prestigious John Dawson Award from the American Physical Society

August 4, 2021

Travis Sjostrom
Travis Sjostrom’s research toward broad-ranging quantum Monte Carlo calculations for the uniform electron gas earned him the John Dawson Award.

Los Alamos, N.M., Aug. 4, 2021–Los Alamos scientist Travis Sjostrom has been selected for a 2021 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research from the American Physical Society (APS). Sjostrom is just one of seven scientists to receive the national award this year.

“It is such an honor for me,” Sjostrom said. “It is rewarding to see this field of theoretical research in warm dense matter, which has had many contributors in recent years and is an active research area, recognized by the award.”

Sjostrom has been involved in warm dense matter research for more than 10 years, with the goal of providing theoretical understanding and accurate characterization of materials in extreme conditions. Warm dense matter encompasses ionized fluids at the confluence of condensed matter physics, plasma physics, and dense liquids.

Sjostrom’s work toward broad-ranging quantum Monte Carlo calculations for the uniform electron gas earned him the John Dawson Award. These calculations provide the starting point to develop finite-temperature exchange-correlation functionals employed in density functional theory calculations.

“Travis’ work is crucial to mission challenges in weapons physics and simultaneously the frontiers of astrophysics. The recognition by the American Physical Society of his contributions is particularly gratifying,” said John Sarrao, deputy director for Science, Technology, and Engineering at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The John Dawson Award was established by APS in 1981. According to APS, the award is given to scientists who make essential contributions to research achievements.

John Dawsonaward
The electron density from a simulation for a warm dense plasma of deuterium at density 10 g/cc and temperature 10 eV.

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