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The EPS Alfvén Prize 2020 is awarded to Dr Annick Pouquet

Posted By Gina Gunaratnam/author: Richard Dendy, Monday 13 January 2020
Updated: Monday 27 January 2020

EPS Alfvén Prize 2020

Dr Annick Pouquet

Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado

and National Center for Atmospheric Research

 Boulder, Colorado, USA


Short citation

For fundamental contributions to quantifying energy transfer in magneto-fluid turbulence. Annick Pouquet’s contributions, together with her colleagues, include predicting the inverse cascade of magnetic helicity, extending the accessible frontier of nonlinear numerical computations, and key steps forward in the analytical theory of turbulence. Her work has facilitated remarkable advances in the understanding of turbulence in astrophysical and space plasmas.

Long citation

From the outset of her scientific career, Annick Pouquet has been a pioneer in the field of theoretical and computational turbulence, in both neutral and conducting fluids. Her research has influenced many subfields of plasma physics, spanning laboratory, space and astrophysical plasmas, with applications ranging from solar and planetary interiors to the solar wind and interstellar medium.

Her earliest work on MHD turbulence and dynamo theory placed Annick Pouquet among the leaders of her field. The series of papers produced in this early study, published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics in the mid-1970s, remain among the most influential works in the field. These publications helped establish the foundations for modern MHD dynamo theory in the nonlinear framework, including: its existence and saturation in a turbulent setting; prediction of an inverse cascade of magnetic helicity; and establishing what is now referred to as the selective decay hypothesis. Her subsequent work in diverse topics related to MHD turbulence and dynamos, such as properties of MHD structure functions, magnetic velocity field correlations, exact scaling laws (the Politano-Pouquet relation), and the non-universality of decaying MHD turbulence, are a testament to her continuous and sustained influence on the field.

Annick Pouquet’s work has been consistently at the forefront of computational physics, applying and adapting new methods and techniques to address important problems in fluid and plasma turbulence. Together with her collaborators, she has performed some of the most sophisticated and detailed simulations of fluid turbulence. She was also an early champion of encouraging open source data. Her knowledge and expertise also served the broader computational physics community in her role as an associate editor for the Journal of Computational Physics for more than twenty years. In addition to her influential work as a researcher, she has played a vital role in advancing the field of plasma physics and in supporting the careers of many young plasma physicists. In her positions as Director of the CNRS Cassini Laboratory in France, as acting Director of the Earth and Sun System Laboratory at NCAR in the USA, and subsequently deputy Director, and as Director of the Geophysical Turbulence Program at NCAR, she has been a powerful advocate for the importance of fundamental research in turbulence, fluid dynamics and plasma physics in general. She has also been a steady proponent of gender equality at all stages of her career.

Annick Pouquet’s enthusiasm for science has impacted all those who have had the privilege to work alongside her. The award to her of the EPS Alfvén Prize 2020 reflects her many, diverse, and important contributions to the advancement of MHD theory.

Tags:  2020  EPS Plasma Physics Division  EPS PPD  Hannes Alfvén Prize  prize 

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