D Hinkel

Denise Hinkel

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist Denise Hinkel has been elected vice chair of the plasma physics division of the American Physical Society, the first step in a four-year leadership commitment with the national scientific organization.

In physics, plasma refers to gases in which atoms and molecules are stripped of their electrons and all the particles are electrically charged. It is sometimes called the fourth state of matter, after solid, liquid and gas.

Understanding plasma behavior is essential to the study of fusion energy, both for nuclear weapons and for possible future civil energy. At LLNL, Hinkel has been prominent in both efforts.

She is a group leader in the Laboratory’s Design Physics Division, according to a Laboratory statement, and has been a fellow of the American Physical Society since 2007.