University of Rochester

Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Astrophysicist elected APS fellow

Eric Blackman

Eric Blackman, a theoretical astrophysicist and professor of physics and astronomy whose work has led to important progress in a wide variety of astronomical fields, has been elected fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the world's largest and most prestigious association of physicists. Less than one-half of one percent of the society's 40,000 members becomes fellows each year.

"Eric's research has been consistently of a quality we have all come to respect," says Arie Bodek, chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. "His work has proven pivotal to the work of so many others in the field that it's very fitting for him to gain this honor."

Blackman was elected for his contributions to the study of astrophysical plasmas, specifically for the progress he has made in many long-standing and notoriously difficult problems involving the generation and reconnection of astrophysical magnetic fields. Because 95 percent of the universe is composed of magnetized plasma, Blackman's work has helped progress the study of star and planet formation, accretion disks around black holes and neutron stars, and the dynamics of interstellar and intergalactic matter.

Blackman joined the University in 2000 and was promoted to full professor in 2004. He received the 200003 Faculty Development Award in Plasma Physics from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who have made advances in knowledge through original research and publication, or made significant and innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology as well as significant contributions to the teaching of physics or service and participation in the activities of the society.

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