Alessandro Bortolon appointed to Physics of Plasmas Editorial Advisory Board

Written by
Rachel Kremen
Feb. 13, 2024

The esteemed journal Physics of Plasmas has a new member on its editorial advisory board: Alessandro Bortolon, a principal research physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). 

Bortolon came to PPPL in 2014 and is currently head of the PPPL group conducting research at the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego. The work is a collaboration with General Atomics to perfect the use of plasma — the fourth state of matter — as an energy source by confining it using magnetic fields. Bortolon’s DIII-D research focuses on the effects of injecting impurities into the plasma to make it more manageable and the effects of particles at the edge of the plasma that are neutral, meaning that they are not positively or negatively charged. He completed his doctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and subsequently conducted his postdoctoral research at PPPL on the National Spherical Torus Experiment. Bortolon began his appointment at the journal in January and will sit on the board until December 2026.

“It is an honor,” said Bortolon. “If I look back at the people who have served in this position, there are names that I respect and have respected for a long time.”

Bortolon joins PPPL Physicists Elena Belova and Vinícius Duarte on the board. PPPL’s Igor Kaganovich serves as Senior Associate Editor. The peer-reviewed journal has been published by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics since 1994. Former PPPL Director Ronald Davidson served as editor of the publication for 24 years.

“The broad scope of the journal also makes this an opportunity to keep an eye on what’s going on beyond my scientific backyard,” Bortolon said, adding that he hopes to be able to elevate journal articles that offer major advances in the field as opposed to those that are incremental. Publishing too many incremental papers can lead to the “fragmentation of science,” he said.

“That kind of fragmentation is counterproductive. Works that significantly advance science are hidden within a multitude of incremental contributions, which makes it difficult to distinguish signal from noise. I hope I can promote actions to mitigate this issue."


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