Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 49
Happy Holidays!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
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Obituaries

Shoichi Yoshikawa

Eleanor Lewis


Shoichi Yoshikawa

Dr. Shoichi Yoshikawa, 76, an internationally known leader in fusion energy research, died November 4 at his home in Princeton.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Yoshikawa was a graduate of the University of Tokyo, and received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from MIT in 1961. He then joined the fusion energy research program at Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Laboratory, where he quickly became one of the scientific leaders of the Model C Stellarator experimental program. He led experimental programs on plasma containment and plasma instabilities. In 1966, he initiated the construction of a series of fusion experiments based on a new type of magnetic bottle using multipole magnetic fields to understand and reduce plasma turbulence. His experiments and theoretical investigations revealed an increased understanding of the plasma losses that had plagued earlier experiments.

In 1968, he invented a new type of magnetic bottle to confine fusion plasmas called the Spherator. During the late 1960s, he was one of the first in the United States to appreciate the advantages of the Russian tokamak fusion confinement concept, and he encouraged the construction of a large tokamak experiment at PPPL.

In the early 1970s he returned to Japan as a professor at the University of Tokyo where he led an experimental program and taught fusion plasma physics to a generation of graduate students. He returned to Princeton University in the late 1970s as a Lecturer with Rank of Professor in the Astrophysics Department where he continued to teach graduate students and was an advocate of innovative magnetic confinement concepts such as the OCLATOR toroidal reactor concept. In the 1980s he conceived an improved helical axis stellarator magnetic bottle that led to the construction of new fusion experiments in Spain and Australia.

Over the course of his career, he wrote seven books on subjects that included mathematical physics, atomic physics, plasma physics, and fusion energy, and was a contributing author to several other technical books. He received the Mainichi-Shinbun Award for “Distinguished Publication” in 1974 for his popular book on fusion. He was a Fellow in the American Physical Society and retired from Princeton University in 2000.

Dr. Yoshikawa is survived by three daughters, Yoko Yoshikawa, Mako Yoshikawa, and Aiko Yoshikawa.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 11 at 2 p.m. at the Princeton Hyatt Regency.

Eleanor Lewis

There will be a Memorial Service for Eleanor Lewis on Sunday, December 12 at 1:30 p.m. at The Jewish Center in Princeton, 435 Nassau Street. Her friends, family, and colleagues will speak in honor of her work and life.

A noted lawyer, researcher, and long-time Princeton civic activist, she died at home on November 26 after a ten-year struggle with cancer.

All who knew Eleanor are gratefully invited to attend the memorial service. Refreshments will be served at a reception following the Memorial.

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