On 20 August, Professor Yoshiharu Omura of the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere (RISH) and the Graduate School of Engineering received the 2017 Appleton Prize from the International Union of Radio Science (Union Radio-Scientifique Internationale, or URSI). The award ceremony took place in Montreal, Canada, during URSI's general assembly.
The Appleton Prize was established in 1969 to recognize outstanding contributions to ionospheric physics research and is awarded on a triennial basis. Professor Omura has become the second Japanese awardee after Dr Kato Susumu, who received the 1987 Prize as a KU professor emeritus.
Professor Omura is cited for his "significant contributions to nonlinear wave-particle interaction theory, simulations of chorus and ion cyclotron emissions and the associated acceleration and precipitation of relativistic electrons in the radiation belts".
He tackled two mysterious phenomena in space plasma physics -- chorus and ion cyclotron emissions -- and elucidated the mechanism of frequency shifts involved based on nonlinear theory and simulations. He also revealed that these emissions -- which are electromagnetic waves -- interact with relativistic electrons to make them accelerate and scatter, contributing to the formation and loss of Earth's radiation belts.
Professor Omura (right) at the award ceremony
- URSI Awards: Appleton Prize