Chen Plasma Physics

February 2, 2013
Magnetic Topology and the
PisinChen

Position

Director

Home Institution

Dept. of Physics, National Taiwan University

Education

Ph.D. in Physics, UCLA
01-(650) 926-3384

Honors

  • J. J. Sakurai Memorial Fellowship Awardee (1983)
  • Fellow of American Physical Society (1994)
  • 4th Prize in Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition Awards (1995)
  • 3rd Prize in Gravity Research Foundation Essay Competition Awards (2001)
  • C.C. Leung University Chair Professor of Cosmology, NTU (since 2008)
  • NTU Outstanding Research Award (2007)
  • Taiwan Outstanding Scholar Foundation “Y.T. Lee Chair Professor” (2007)
  • Ministry of Education Distinguished Professorship (the Carry-On Position), Taiwan, R.O.C. (2006)
  • Recognition by ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nongovernment Organization (NGO) for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment at South Pole (2012)

Current Research Interests

  • Theoretical cosmology, including the nature of dark matter and dark energy, inflation and cosmic evolution in early universe
  • Classical and quantum gravity, including black hole information loss and remnants, gauge theory of gravity, quantization of space-time, etc.
  • Theoretical particle astrophysics, such as ultra high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) and cosmic neutrinos
  • Experimental investigation of particle astrophysics including ultra high energy cosmic neutrinos and gamma ray bursts
  • Laser Cosmology: application of ultra-intense lasers to investigate critical issues in cosmology, classical and quantum gravity, and particle astrophysics

Biography:

Due to life’s unexpected twists and turns, I have worked in various fields of physics including particle physics, plasma physics, beam physics, and cosmology and astrophysics. While some of these transitions were planned, many others were unexpected. Whether planned or not, eventually I enjoy every field of physics that I have the fortune to learn and to contribute. By now influence of my past experiences can be found in every new direction that I have launched into. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to appreciate the unity of physics and the wholeness of life. Recent revolutionary breakthroughs in particle astrophysics and cosmology have created new and puzzling questions in physics at the most fundamental level. Cosmology has become one of the most challenging frontiers of science in the 21st century. Using LeCosPA as a platform, I wish to promote cosmology and particle astrophysics in Taiwan so as to make contributions to the understanding of the origin, the composition and the evolution of our universe, or even multiverse. Outside of my physics activities, I am an amateur artist, musician and playwright. I have been a member of a fine arts group in Taipei since my teenage, and through it have staged several group exhibitions over the last several decades. The latest, where my more recent paintings were exhibited, was held in 2002 in Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. I conducted choruses since my student days. I was the founding music director and conductor of the North Peninsula Philharmonic Chorus in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1990 to 2007. In 1980s, together with Prof. Wei-Hsin Sun of NTU and a Fellow of LeCosPA, we transcribed the popular Chinese novel “Blue and Black” into a play, which was regarded by the original author, Wang Lan, as the best rendition and has been put on stage in Los Angeles (1984), Taipei (1985, 1998), and San Francisco (1988).

Experience

  • Spokesperson of SLAC E-150 “Plasma Lens Experiment” that proved the predictions of the plasma self-focusing effect of high energy electron and positron beams (2000); Selected by Physics Today as one of Top 50 Physics News in 2000
  • Spokesperson (together with Prof. Pierre Sokolsky of U. Utah) of the FLASH (Fluorescence in Air from Shower) Collaboration (2002-2007)
  • PI of the Taiwan team and Co-PI of the International ANITA (Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antennas) Collaboration (2007-)
  • Initiation and International Co-Spokesperson of ARA (Askaryan Radio Array) Observatory Collaboration (2009-)
  • PI of the Taiwan team and Co-I of the International UFFO (Ultra Fast Flash Observatory) Collaboration (2009-)
  • Vice Chairman of Department of Physics, National Taiwan University (2009-2012)
  • First person from Taiwan and in ROC’s 100-year history to have stepped foot on South Pole, Dec. 2011, to oversee the deployment of the first ARA station.
  • Group Leader, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (2000-2007)
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