NWU Professor only A1 researcher in Physics
POTCHEFSTROOM - Prof Marius Potgieter from the Unit for Space Physics and currently Director of the School of Physics at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU) recently received an A1 rating as researcher from the National Research Foundation (NRF). This is the highest rating that scientists can receive from the NRF.
Prof Potgieter is currently the only researcher in his field with an A1 rating at the NWU. A ratings are awarded to researchers who are recognised as world leaders in their research fields. As young researcher, Prof Potgieter also received the prestigious NRF President’s Award.
Prof Potgieter has been affiliated with the NWU for the last thirty years and considers Prof Pieter Stoker his mentor. Prof Pieter Stoker, professor emeritus in Physics and still an active researcher, recently celebrated his 80th birthday. He is known for establishing research and postgraduate education in Physics at the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) in 1950.
Prof Potgieter’s research is about heliospheric space physics and particularly the sun's influence on cosmic rays and near interstellar space. It also includes studies on space weather and space climate. His main activities involve the mathematical and numerical modelling of the characteristics of heliospheric space and the behaviour of cosmic rays as charged particles in the heliosphere and the physical processes that they are subjected to.
“The models are compared and tested against observations of the Voyager spacecraft of NASA and the Ulysses spacecraft of ESA that observe the heliosphere from the earth to the edge of the heliosphere and around the sun respectively. Through several research agreements, the heliospheric physics group, where Profs Harm Moraal, Adri Burger and Stefan Ferreira are also involved, makes important contributions to heliospheric physics in order to explain these observations and to make predictions about what the spacecraft might observe,” says Prof Potgieter.
Prof Marius Potgieter