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Louise Willingale receives NSF CAREER award

Louise Willingale, NSF CAREER awardee

Louise Willingale, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan, sets up the T-cubed laser. Willingale was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for her research project "Relativistic Electron Driven Magnetic Reconnection" (NSF grant PHY 17-51462).

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Magnetic reconnection is a fundamental process in which magnetic energy in plasmas is converted to heat and kinetic energy, while causing intense particle acceleration, sometimes to nearly the speed of light. It occurs during high-energy-density phenomena such as solar flares and auroras.

Willingale plans to conduct high-energy-density laboratory experiments at the University of Michigan T-cubed laser facility and with the HERCULES laser (currently undergoing an upgrade), both housed in the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (previously funded by NSF), to shed light onto this little understood process and test the accuracy of existing theories. The T-cubed and HERCULES lasers have already led to the discoveries of many high-field science effects.

Read more about Willingale receiving her CAREER award in the University of Michigan news story Louise Willingale receives NSF CAREER award to advance scientific knowledge of plasmas. (Date image taken: November 2014; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: June 20, 2018)

Credit: Scoitt C. Soderberg, University of Michigan

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