News Release

Dr. Arati Dasgupta honored by the Nuclear and Plasma Science Society

Grant and Award Announcement

Naval Research Laboratory

Dr. Arati Dasgupta


Dr. Arati Dasgupta, head of NRL's Radiation Hydrodynamics Branch, Plasma Physics Division, is recipient of the 2024 IEEE Plasma Science and Applications (PSAC) Award for her fundamental contributions to, and leadership of, high energy density plasma, atomic, and radiation physics, fusion applications, and service to the plasma science community.

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Credit: (U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/Jamie Hartman)

WASHINGTON  –  U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) plasma physicist, Arati Dasgupta, Ph.D., head, Radiation Hydrodynamics Branch, Plasma Physics Division, receives the 2024 IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Committee (PSAC) Award for her fundamental contributions to, and leadership of, high energy density plasma, atomic, and radiation physics, fusion applications, and service to the plasma science community.

Presented by the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, the PSAC Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of plasma science and engineering. Dasgupta is the 37th winner of the PSAC Award — one of three women ever to receive — and the fifth recipient from NRL’s Plasma Physics Division.
"Dr. Arati Dasgupta is an outstanding candidate and exceptionally well deserving of the IEEE Plasma Science and Application Award," said Alexander L. Velikovich, Ph.D., senior scientist, NRL Radiation Physics and High Energy Density Matter Plasma Physics Division. "Her excellent theoretical work and superb leadership in the international plasma science and applications community earned this distinction."
Dasgupta pioneered the development of theoretical and computational models to compute the most accurate atomic cross-sections published to date that agree remarkably well with current measurements.
These models include state-specific dielectronic recombination data for simulating accurate ionization abundances and plasma diagnostics. Her atomic data was vital for a broad range of applications, from modeling the streams of energetic particles arriving from the Sun during intense solar activity to produce X-ray radiation that damages satellites, and possible harm to astronauts in orbit, to the development of excimer and X-ray lasers.
Dasgupta is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of radiation physics and high energy density (HED) materials, leading collaborative work with laboratories and universities worldwide. Her expertise in atomic and plasma modeling and spectroscopy, and her significant contributions in analyzing HED radiation source development and inertial confinement fusion experiments at major laboratories have led to a multitude of long-standing collaborations and publications. Dasgupta successfully applied her fundamental atomic, collisional, and radiative models to analyze and diagnose plasmas produced in inertial confinement fusion X-ray-driven capsule implosions on the National Ignition Facility — the world’s highest-energy laser, at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which recently achieved the controlled thermonuclear fusion ignition for the first time. Her contributions were vital for developing the highest-yield Z-pinch plasma X-ray radiation sources on the Z-facility — the world’s most powerful mega-Ampere current driver, at Sandia National Laboratories.
Graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park, Dasgupta received her Bachelor of Science with honors (1973) and Master of Science (1976) in physics leading to a doctorate (1983) in atomic physics. She joined NRL in 1986 as a research physicist in the Radiation Hydrodynamics Branch, Plasma Physics Division, to become head of the Atomic Physics and Ionization Kinetics Section in 2015, and branch head in 2020.
In 2010 Dasgupta was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society upon the recommendation of its Division of Plasma Physics for her contributions to the theory of electron collisions with atoms and ions, and their applications to gaseous electronics, short laser pulses, inertial confinement fusion and astrophysical plasmas. Also in 2010, along with colleagues from Sandia and NRL, she shared the 2010 Department of Energy (DoE) Defense Programs Award of Excellence for increased cold X-ray source yields, improved source characterization and debris mitigation techniques to qualify stockpile components on the refurbished Z-machine.
In 2014, Dasgupta was elected a Fellow of Washington Academy of Science. As a trailblazer and role model recognized nationwide, Dasgupta was invited by Yale University, among 35 highly successful physicists, engineers and chemists, to contribute a chapter about her personal experience to a book titled “Blazing the Trail; Essays by Leading Women in Science,” published in 2013. The impact and remarkable quality of Dasgupta's technical work is highly valued, corroborated by the invitation to be a member of the Plasma 2020 Decadal Study committee for the National Academy of Sciences, which was a report on the current status, challenges and future directions of plasma science and technology.
Dasgupta's leadership is also acknowledged broadly, resulting in requests for her participation in strategic planning reports for DoE's HED Physics and DoE's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, and frequent proposal reviews for NSF and DoE.
Throughout her career, Dasgupta has been a staunch advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, exemplified by her dedication as a mentor and role model for younger scientists, women, and underrepresented communities and her passion for opportunities to share her research and educate others.
For many years, she was the leader of the NRL Division of Plasma Physics mentor program, president of the NRL WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) chapter, and has also been heavily engaged in outreach activities at national and international conferences through IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE), WISE, and chair of the APS Division of Plasma Physics Women in Plasma Physics Committee, organizing many events and serving on several panels at conferences for WIE and WISE.
The Awards will be recognized and bestowed during the ICOPS 2024 Banquet on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at Beijing International Convention Center, Beijing.
About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C. with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.
For more information, contact NRL Corporate Communications at (202) 480-3746 or

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