Richard F. Post
Richard Freeman Post (14 November 1918 – 7 April 2015) was an American physicist notable for his work in nuclear fusion, plasma physics, magnetic mirrors, magnetic levitation, magnetic bearing design and direct energy conversion.
Post was a winner of the James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics and led the controlled thermonuclear research group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 23 years. He held a total of 34 patents in the fields of nuclear fusion, particle accelerators, and electronic and mechanical energy storage.
Early life and education
Post was born in 1918 in Pomona, California. He 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.
Post joined the staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as leader of the controlled thermonuclear research group until 1974. During this time, he developed many of concepts of magnetic mirrors and direct energy conversion. He worked with Marshall Rosenbluth to develop the stability of plasma inside mirror machines. 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 Mirror Fusion Test Facility (MFTF) and the Tandem Mirror Facility. After 1987, Post was senior scientist in the magnetic fusion energy program. He has held advisory roles at NASA, the National Academy of Sciences and the United States Air Force.
Post and his wife Marlyee (a poet) were the parents of actress Markie Post and her two brothers, Steve and Rodney. Although he retired in 1994, Dr. Post continued to work in his lab four days a week, up until the week of his death on 7 April 2015.
- Grant, James (3 March 1986). "Though She Plays a Lawyer on Night Court, Markie Post Can't Help Feeling Guilty". People 25 (9). Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- Post, Richard (September 1969). "Mirror Systems: Fuel Cycles, Loss Recovery, and Energy Recovery". BNES Nuclear Fusion Reactor Conference at Culham Laboratory.
- "1978 James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics Recipient: Richard F. Post". APS.org. American Physical Society. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- Thomas, Jeremy (April 8, 2015). "Longtime Livermore lab physicist and "father of the flywheel" dies at 96". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- Richard Post at Array of Contemporary American Physicists; accessed 6-28-2013
- Post, Richard. "Thoughts on Fusion Energy Development", Fusion Power Associates Annual Meeting and Symposium - "Honoring Fusion Pioneers Richard F. Post and John H. Nuckolls", 3–4 December 2008
- Post, R. F.; Rosenbluth, M. N. (1966). "Electrostatic Instabilities in Finite Mirror-Confined Plasmas". Physics of Fluids.
- Heller, Arnie. "A New Approach for Magnetically Levitating Trains — and Rockets". Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- Post, Richard F. (January 2000). "MagLev: A New Approach". Scientific American.
- Post, Richard F. "The Inductrack Approach to Magnetic Levitation" (PDF). Askmar.com.
- Post, Richard F. (1 August 1993). "The electromechanical battery: The new kid on the block". Office of Scientific and Technical Information, US Department of Energy. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
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