Richard F. Post

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Richard F. Post (born November 14, 1918, in Pomona, California)[1] is a American physicist who has done work in nuclear fusion, plasma physics, Magnetic mirrors, magnetic levitation, magnetic bearing design and direct energy conversion.[2] He is a winner of the James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics[3] and led the controlled thermonuclear research group at LLNL for 23 years. He holds patents in the fields of nuclear fusion, particle accelerators, and electronic and mechanical energy storage.


Post received a BA in physics from Pomona College in 1940 and a PhD in physics from Stanford University in 1951. After his PhD, he was inspired to pursue fusion energy research by a college professor.[4] Post joined the staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as leader of the controlled thermonuclear research group until 1974.[1] During this time, he developed many of concepts of magnetic mirrors and direct energy conversion.[2] He worked with Marshall Rosenbluth to develop the stability of plasma inside mirror machines.[5] From 1974 to 1987 he was deputy associate director of the magnetic fusion energy program at LLNL. This was a heavily funded effort by the United States Department of Energy to build a succession of magnetic mirror machines, including the MFTF and the Tandem Mirror Facility. After 1987, Post was senior scientist in the magnetic fusion energy program.[1] He has held advisory roles at NASA, the National Academy of Sciences and the United States Air Force.[1]

Notable works[edit]

His notable work includes inductrack[6][7][8] and magnetically levitated flywheels.[9]


Post is the father of actress Markie Post.


  1. ^ a b c d, "Richard Post", Array of contemporary American Physicists, Accessed 6-28-2013
  2. ^ a b Post, Richard, "Mirror Systems: Fuel Cycles, Loss Recovery, and Energy Recovery", BNES Nuclear Fusion Reactor Conference at Culham Laboratory, September 1969
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Thoughts on Fusion Energy Development", Richard Post, the Fusion Power Associates Annual Meeting and Symposium - "Honoring Fusion Pioneers Richard F. Post and John H. Nuckolls", 3–4 December 2008
  5. ^ "Electrostatic Instabilities in Finite Mirror-Confined Plasmas" RF Post, MN Rosenbluth - Physics of Fluids, 1966
  6. ^ "A New Approach for Magnetically Levitating Trains — and Rockets". Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  7. ^ Richard F. Post (January 2000). "MagLev: A New Approach". Scientific American. 
  8. ^ Richard F. Post. "The Inductrack Approach to Magnetic Levitation". 
  9. ^ [1]