Toshiki Tajima, UCI professor of physics & astronomy, is the recipient of the American Physical Society's 2019 Robert R. Wilson Prize for his contributions to the invention of laser wakefield acceleration in plasma physics. Steve Zylius / UCI

The American Physical Society has awarded Toshiki Tajima, UCI’s Norman Rostoker Chair in Applied Physics, the 2019 Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators. APS highlighted his fundamental contributions to the invention and realization of laser wakefield acceleration in plasma physics. Applications include ultrafast radiolysis for research in radiation chemistry, brilliant X-rays and intraoperative radiation therapy. “The original idea that led to the discovery and invention of wakefield acceleration was germinated here at UCI in the mid-1970s, through the inspiration of UCI physics professor Norman Rostoker and the contributions of his students,” Tajima said. “These early efforts to go beyond the conventional accelerator method laid the foundation for me to form the basic direction, which blossomed further through my encounter with another giant in the field, UCLA’s John Dawson.”