West Virginia University physics and astronomy professors are part of a national Department of Energy research team that actively shape research policy in their field. Earl Scime notes that while thermonuclear energy is the major focus of plasma physics, there are other benefits from the research. Scime is one of seven scientists who will organize the first phase of a strategic plan to further plasma physics research in a new facility for testing materials to be used in fusion reactors.
“While the biggest component of plasma physics is the focus on developing controlled thermonuclear energy, the US Department of Energy supports a broad spectrum of plasma physics research. Here at WVU we have a number of faculty in plasma physics with a very high profile in shaping national policy. Mark Koepke served at the Department of Energy for a number of years and Paul Cassak plays a leading role in advocating for space plasma physics research at the national level. It is by engaging in these sorts of national leadership activities that WVU faculty are actively shaping national research policy in our field.”
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