Physicist David Gates named editor-in-chief of Plasma, a new online journal

PPPL November 20, 2017

(Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications)
David A. Gates

David A. Gates, principal research physicist and Stellarator Physics Division Head at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been named editor-in-chief of Plasma, an online open access journal for plasma physics.

“I am excited to join the editorial board as editor-in-chief of Plasma and I look forward to helping advance the international research arena in plasma science,” Gates said. “This is an outstanding opportunity to help promote the research of a vital area of physics and to open the door to communicating that research to the global community.”

Plasma (link is external) is an international, open access, peer-reviewed journal covering all aspects of plasma science, and will be published quarterly online by MDPI, an online publishing company based in Switzerland. It is a cross-disciplinary scholarly journal of scientific studies related to all aspects of plasma science, such as plasma physics, plasma chemistry and space plasma. It publishes reviews, research articles, short communications and letters. Topics also include experimental and theoretical results, and progress of interdisciplinary and application sciences in this field. The first volume will appear in 2018.

Plasma, also known as the fourth state of matter, is the most abundant form of visible matter in the universe; it is thought to make up 99 percent of what can be seen in the night sky. Plasma dominates the vast regions of interstellar and interplanetary space, but also can be found on Earth: lightning, neon signs, fluorescent light bulbs, a candle flame, some television and computer displays are all examples of plasma.

A Fellow of the American Physical Society, Gates has been studying plasma for 30 years. He came to PPPL in 1997 after four years at Culham Laboratory in Oxfordshire, England, to work on the National Spherical Torus Experiment. As head of the Stellarator Physics Division at PPPL, he leads collaborative efforts with the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator in Germany and the Large Helical Device stellarator in Japan. He is an expert in the areas of stellarator design, magnetohydrodynamics, and plasma control. A stellarator is a device to generate fusion reactions, which are fueled by plasma, to create energy like the sun and most stars.

Gates has contributed to more than 160 papers and is first author on 20 of them. He received his Ph.D. in applied physics from Columbia University in 1994 and his B.S. in math and physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986.

PPPL, on Princeton University’s Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.