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February 17, 1993




Dear Dr.______________:

The National Research Council (NRC) has formed the Panel on Opportunities in Plasma Science and Technology (OPST) to conduct an assessment of the field of plasma science. The Panel has been charged to assess the health of basic plasma science as a research enterprise, identify opportunities in plasma science, and make recommendations to federal agencies and to the plasma science community.

As we have begun to evaluate the potential for the future, we realized that it is necessary to have a reference frame in which to work—a not-uncommon feature in physics. The specific reference frame we lack is the funding for the areas associated with basic plasma physics in recent years. Therefore, we ask your help in assembling an accurate profile of federal funding for plasma science research. It would be helpful to get this over a period of several years, in particular, over the period fiscal years 1989–1992. Please specify if the dollars are current or constant dollars. If the information is available, a theory versus experiment breakdown would be useful, as would any other breakout.

Attachment 1 is a list of the areas into which our panel has separated basic plasma science. This may be useful in deciding what to include in any data you can give us. Attachment 2 is a list of federal plasma science program managers to whom this request was sent. If there are others that you know of within your agency that are not included on the list, we would appreciate your forwarding a copy of this request to them.

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