IEEE Nanotechnology Council
Advancing Nanotech for Humanity

IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Joins Nanotechnology Council

The IEEE Nanotechnology Council announces that the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) was admitted to the Council as its 23rd Member Society at its 2019 AdCom meeting held in Macao, on July 23.

The NPSS has its roots in the IRE one of the predecessor societies of the IEEE (along with AIEE).

The first activity of record in this field was the formation of a Nuclear Studies Committee in the IRE in 1947, to determine the proper role of the IRE in this new technical field. Subsequently, in 1949, a petition was filed for the formation of a Professional Group on Nuclear Science (PGNS), and it was approved on April 5, 1949, with L. R. Hafstad as Chairman. On April 29, an organizational meeting was held, the membership at that time consisting of 54, increasing to 970 by the end of the year.

The new organization became visible on a number of fronts in the early 1950s. In 1953, the PGNS formed an Atomic Energy Policy Committee which fielded a strong effort to have the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 modified. These efforts came to fruition in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Early in the 1950s the PGNS became a cosponsor of the Scintillation Counter Symposium which has now merged into the Nuclear Science Symposium. In 1954 the first issue of the Transactions on Nuclear Science also appeared. In 1956, the number of issues of the Transactions was increased from one a year to four.

At essentially the same time as the Professional Group on Nuclear Science was formed in the IRE, the AIEE formed a number of committees and subcommittees to work in this area, the most important being the Nucleonics Committee and Committee on Nucleonic and Radiation Instruments. With the merger of the IRE and AIEE on January 1, 1963, to form the IEEE, procedures were begun to merge the like-interest groups of the former societies. The IRE Professional Group on Nuclear Science merged with the AIEE Nucleonics Committee and the Committee on Nucleonic and Radiation Instruments on October 29, 1963, to become the Nuclear Science Group of the IEEE. In 1965 the Particle Accelerator Conference was added and in 1989 the Medical Imaging community, originally part of the NSS, became a separate technical committee and independent conference.

In 1972, two major events occurred for the Group. Midyear the scope was widened to include the plasma science field and in September the group was given Society status. The augmented group became the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society. March of 1973 saw the debut of a second publication, the Transactions on Plasma Science.

In 1989/1990 the Nuclear Medical and Imaging portion of the Nuclear Science Symposium was incorporated into a separate but collocated conference, the Medical Imaging Conference or MIC.

In 2017 a third journal, the Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Science was added. NPSS thus has the distinction of issuing three publications, in addition to a quarterly newsletter. It is also a partner in the Transactions on Medical Imaging.

Over the years the Society has inaugurated or assumed responsibility for a number of additional technical areas and conferences, including the addition in 1997 of the Pulsed Power community, formerly a private organization with some affiliation with IEEE NPSS. Every year the Society sponsors conferences on Plasma Science, Radiation Effects, Medical Imaging and Nuclear Science. Conferences on Particle Accelerators and Engineering Problems in Fusion Research and Data Acquisition in Nuclear and Particle Physics are sponsored every other year. In addition, many other conferences are occasionally sponsored or regularly technically cosponsored by the Society.

In becoming a member of the Nanotechnology Council, NPSS hopes to enhance its involvement in this rapidly growing multidisciplinary area, which impacts essentially all our specific technical communities.


Brief Timeline of Events in NPSS History

April 29, 1949 – Held first meeting. They started out as ‘Professional Group on Nuclear Science’. (PGNS)
Jan. 10, 1963 – They changed their name to ‘Professional Technical Group on Nuclear Science’.
Jan. 21, 1964 – Changed their name to ‘IEEE-Nuclear Science Group’.
1965 Particle Accelerator Group Joins
Dec. 5, 1972 – ‘Nuclear Science Group’ merged with ‘Plasma Interest’ to become ‘Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society’.
March, 1973 – Field of Interest revision


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