POSTECH: Dr. Young Dae Yoon of PAL Wins the AAPPS Young Researcher Award


Dr. Young Dae Yoon of Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (PAL) has won the Young Researcher Award from the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) in the Division of Plasma Physics. He is the only Korean among the scientists selected for the award this year.

This award is given to the scientist in the Asia Pacific region who has conducted outstanding research in the field of plasma physics. There are two categories of below 30 age group and below 40 age group. Recognized for his research accomplishments, Dr. Yoon has been selected as one of the six winners in the under 30 group.

Dr. Yoon completed his PhD degree at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and is currently working as a post-doc fellow at the PAL. His research focuses on two main areas, including high-temperature magnetized plasma related to nuclear fusion and astronomical physics, and electron beam instability related to accelerator physics.

In his recent collaboration with POSTECH professor Gunsu Yoon (Department of Physics and Division of Advanced Nuclear Engineering), Dr. Yoon verified the process of non-collision equilibration of current sheets and explained the origin of diverged current sheets to solve a long-standing problem in plasma physics, causing quite a stir in academic circles. This study has attracted attention for compiling analytical theories, particle simulation using the KAIROS super computer from the Korean Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE), and the MMS satellite data from NASA.

Thanks to his prolific research and recognized internationally, Dr. Yoon has published 12 papers over five years in authoritative academic journals such as Nature Communications, and was twice invited to present at the American Physical Society. He was previously the recipient of the POSCO Science Fellowship (2022) from the POSCO TJ Park Foundation and the POSTECH PIURI Postdoctoral Fellowship (2021).

The Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) has been awarding the Young Researcher Award to scholars under the age of 30 and under 40 who have been active in the field of plasma physics since 2018 by comprehensively evaluating the research accomplishments of the candidates. The award is recognized for its authority as it plays a pivotal role in discovering talented plasma physicists and the award ceremony will be held at the 5th Asia-Pacific Conference on Plasma Physics taking place this month.