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  • Nation Needs to Focus on Plasma Science, Says NRC
Jun 2007
The US Department of Energy’s Office of Science should reorient its research programs to promote plasma science research and create a focal point for federal efforts in that field, according to a new report from the National Research Council (NRC). Breakthroughs in plasma science have the potential to enhance national and economic security, energy production and general scientific knowledge, the NRC said. "The expanding scope of plasma research is creating an abundance of new scientific opportunities and challenges," the council said. "These opportunities promise to further expand the role of plasma science in enhancing economic security and prosperity, energy and environmental security, national security and scientific knowledge. Plasma science has a coherent intellectual framework unified by physical processes that are common to many subfields. Therefore, and as this report shows, plasma science is much more than a basket of applications." The report is available for purchase or can be viewed at:

The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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