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A UW-Madison astrophysicist has been named winner of a prestigious award for her research in astrophysical plasma.

Ellen Gould Zweibel won the James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics, presented by the American Physical Society.

Zweibel, chair of the UW-Madison Department of Astronomy, will be honored with the award at the society’s 58th annual meeting in San Jose, California.

According to a university statement, Zweibel has been recognized for her “seminal research on the energetics, stability and dynamics of astrophysical plasmas, including those related to stars and galaxies, and for leadership in linking plasma and other astrophysical phenomena.”

Zweibel has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1973, and a Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences from Princeton in 1977.

She was a founding member and past director of the Center for Magnetic Self-Organization.

Her research is literally across the universe, studying the sun and stars, the formation, evolution and structure of galaxies and the physics of galaxy clusters.

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