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John Booske and Noah Hershkowitz
September 27, 2019

Hershkowitz receives inaugural IEEE TPS award for plasma science research

Written By: Staff


Noah Hershkowitz, Irving Langmuir Professor Emeritus of nuclear engineering and engineering physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the first recipient of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science Best Paper Award.

The new award will be given annually to the paper deemed the best among those published in the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science journal. Hershkowitz won the 2019 award for his paper, “43 years of fun basic physics experiments,” which appeared in the volume 44 of the journal in 2016.

For this award, IEEE determines the best paper based primarily on its quantifiable usefulness to the community. The society also considers literature citations to the paper, quality, clarity of presentation, originality, significance, and contributions to the field.

For more than 40 years, Hershkowitz’s research has broadened the understanding of the fundamental properties of plasma. His work has covered a wide range of plasma phenomena, including low-temperature plasmas, semiconductor fabricating plasmas, fusion plasmas, and space plasmas. His groundbreaking contributions to understanding solitons, sheaths and pre-sheaths have impacted semiconductor etching, as the plasma sheath plays a major role in the linear acceleration of ions that results in the small features of modern microelectronic circuits.

His pioneering work on emissive probes resulted in the development of a new technique for determining plasma potential by analyzing emissive probe emitted current. In 2002, he was the first to measure plasma potential throughout the pre-sheath and sheath at the boundary in a weakly collisional plasma. Hershkowitz is an IEEE life fellow and has supervised 56 PhD students.