Edward Thomas, Jr. (pictured left), the Lawrence C. Wit Professor, and associate professor Uwe Konopka (pictured below), both of the Plasma Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Physics, were awarded two new grants from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation totaling $765,000 for the project titled, “The Physics of Magnetized Dusty Plasmas.” According to Thomas, dusty plasmas are a novel, four-component plasma state consisting of ions, electrons, neutral atoms and charged microparticles (i.e., “dust”). The awards provide continuing support for the Magnetized Dusty Plasma Experiment (MDPX), a multi-user, next-generation, superconducting, high magnetic field plasma physics research instrument. The awards will support Auburn University students and researchers, and will also bring a diverse team of national and international researchers to Auburn to perform experimental and theoretical studies using the MDPX device. When combined with funding provided to the project collaborators at the University of Iowa and the University of California – San Diego, a total of more than $1 million has been provided to the MDPX research team. For more information on the Plasma Sciences Laboratory, visit the website.