CLF visiting scientist awarded the coveted Hannes Alfvén Prize for 2018
25 Jan 2018



Professor Tony Bell is a theoretical plasma physicist, whose work has gone on to open up new research fields in both astrophysical and laboratory plasmas.


Having obtained an MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge, Tony went on to hold positions at RAL and a professorship at Imperial College. He is now a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He first joined the Central Laser Facility as a visiting scientist in 1979.  

The Hannes Alfvén Prize is a prize established by the European Physical Society (EPS) Plasma Physics Division back in 2000.  Named after the famous Swedish electrical engineer, plasma physicist and Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvén, the prize is awarded by the EPS for 'outstanding contributions to plasma physics' at their annual conference on Plasma Physics. The aim of the award is to honour scientists whose research achievements have either; already shaped the field of plasma physics, or who have demonstrated that they have the potential to do so in the future.

The EPS website outlines three major achievements that Tony has accomplished in the field of laboratory plasma physics:

  1. Explanation of 'flux-limited' inhibition of thermal conduction in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) capsules. This initiated the development of the non-local theory of electron transport that has proved to be one of the building blocks of the understanding of laser-produced plasmas.
  2. Theory of energetic electron transport, showing how self-generated magnetic fields can focus beams of energetic electrons into the dense thermonuclear fuel as high gain ICF by 'fast ignition'.
  3. Theoretical demonstration that Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) will play an important role in experiments with next generation high power lasers, leading to prolific gamma-ray and electron-positron pair generation.

Congratulations to Tony – we wish you all the best in the future!

Contact: Cooke, Emily (STFC,RAL,ISIS)