April 20, 2021
Benjamin Reichelt, a second-year Physics PhD candidate with MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), has been awarded the Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship (SSGF). As a member of the PSFC’s High-Energy-Density Physics division, headed by Senior Scientist Richard Petrasso, Reichelt’s studies revolve around inertial confinement fusion (ICF), and opportunities to achieve ignition.
In the course of his PhD work, with the guidance of his advisor, Senior Scientist Chikang Li, Reichelt has worked closely with scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) to develop models, analyze data, and design experiments.
Reichelt plans to spend a 12-week practicum funded by the fellowship at LANL studying a kinetic plasma physics code in order to gain insight into kinetic effects in ICF experiments.
“I find high-energy-density physics very interesting,” he says, “because it’s a very new field. There are many different regimes to study that no one has really looked at before. And recently there's been a lot of progress with simulation techniques that have allowed us to look at difficult questions that we really haven't been able to before.”
Reichelt’s fellowship is for 2021-25 and will need to be renewed yearly. The DOE NNSA SSGF is funded to ensure a continuous supply of highly trained scientists and engineers in areas of study related to high-energy-density physics, nuclear science, and materials under extreme conditions and hydrodynamics.