Motivated by the opportunity to learn first-hand from the authors of outstanding plasma physics research, the Editors of Physics of Plasmas will invite authors of recently published featured articles to present a webinar based on their paper. Featured articles are selected by the Editors with input from referees and include novel and important research across the whole range of fundamental and applied plasma physics. Features in Plasma Physics webinars will occur monthly.

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Upcoming Webinars

Eduardo Rodríguez

Speaker: Eduardo Rodríguez
Date: September 15, 2023, 11 a.m. EDT
TitleHigher order theory of quasi-isodynamicity near the magnetic axis of stellarators

My research is focused on the theoretical study of stellarator-optimization physics. This involves the study of a large variety of plasma and magnetic field properties and their mutual connections, an effort that offers both to deepen our understanding and aid stellarator-design efforts. This includes the study of single-particle, MHD stability, turbulent behavior, shaping, etc. I graduated in Physics from the University of Oxford in 2017, and obtained my PhD in Plasma Physics from Princeton University in 2022 working on Quasisymmetry. I am currently working as a postdoc at the IPP Max Planck Institute at Greifswald, Germany, in the Stellarator Theory department.

Past Webinars

Louis Jose is a Research fellow in the Fundamental Plasma Theory group at the University of Michigan. He received his master’s in physics from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in 2016 and his Ph.D. in applied physics from the University of Michigan in 2023. His research is focused on developing a plasma kinetic theory for strongly magnetized plasmas characterized by gyrofrequency larger than the plasma frequency.

Sven Korving is a PhD student, under supervision of Guido Huijsmans, in the Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion group at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands. His general aim is to combine non-linear magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of instabilities with divertor physics in 3D. His work spans from developing these combined models and using these hybrid MHD-kinetic simulations of tokamak plasmas to understand and predict power fluxes and impurity transport in ELMing and ELM-controlled plasmas. The research is done in collaboration with the ITER Organization to address the unknowns on impurity transport in the ITER tokamak, which is under construction.

The paper presented here lays the foundation for this work as an improved treatment of the Scrape-off-layer and the Divertor region is necessary for: predicting power fluxes and plasma-wall interaction impacted by the MHD processes during ITER operation and understanding of the full interaction of impurity transport from the plasma-facing-components to the core of the plasma.

Dr. Hui Chen joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1999 after receiving her Ph.D. in plasma physics from Imperial College, London. Her chief research interests are in High Energy Density plasma physics, including Inertial Confinement Fusion experiments on the National Ignition Facility, intense laser produced relativistic electron-positron pairs, x-ray imaging using novel gated sensors, and x-ray spectroscopy. She is also currently developing graduate courses on High Energy Density plasmas and diagnostics. She became an APS Fellow in 2016.

Frederico Fiuza is a Senior Staff Scientist and the Theory Group Leader at the High Energy Density Science division of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He obtained his PhD degree in Plasma Physics from Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal, in 2012. He then became a Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory between 2012 and 2015, before joining SLAC. His research interests span a wide range of topics in astrophysical and laboratory plasmas, including particle acceleration, magnetic field amplification, collisionless shocks, and magnetic reconnection. Fiuza’s work on laboratory astrophysics was recognized with the 2018 APS Thomas H. Stix Award and the 2020 APS John Dawson Award. He also received the EPS PhD Research Award in 2013 and the DOE Early Career Award in 2017. In 2023, he was named Kavli Fellow by the US National Academy of Sciences.

Keizo Fujimoto is a Professor of space physics at the School of Space and Environment, Beihang University, China. He has been working on theoretical and simulation studies of magnetic reconnection in collisionless plasma for the application to magnetospheric substorms and solar flares. In particular, his research is focused on the mechanisms of wave generation, energy conversion, and magnetic dissipation in reconnection. He has also developed a new PIC code with adaptive mesh refinement to perform multiscale kinetic simulations within reasonable computer resources. Fujimoto received his PhD in Science from Kyoto University, Japan, in 2006 with support from a JSPS fellowship. He worked in space physics groups at NICT, Nagoya University, and University of Alberta, in astrophysics groups at RIKEN and NAOJ, and in a fusion group at the University of Tokyo, before he joined Beihang University in 2017 as a faculty member.

Richard Sydora is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta, Canada. His research spans a wide range of areas in plasma physics that includes theoretical and computational studies of nonlinear waves, turbulence and transport in magnetized plasmas, particle acceleration and energy conversion processes, such as magnetic reconnection, in space and laboratory plasmas. He received his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 and then joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), becoming a Research Physicist and Adjunct Professor. In 1998 he joined the physics faculty at the University of Alberta and was Director of the Theoretical Physics Institute from 2015-2020. He has held visiting professorships at Nagoya University, Japan and in Germany at the Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum, University of Duesseldorf and the Forschungszentrum Juelich, Helmholtz Research Centre as an Alexander von Humboldt Research fellow.

Axel Könies is a senior researcher at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plasmaphysics in Greifswald Germany. He is co-heading the general theory group in the stellarator theory department. He received his master and PhD at the University of Rostock. In 1996 he joined the stellarator theory department as a postdoc and worked on fast particle-wave interaction and MHD in stellarators. His focus is on the numerical treatment of these phenomena. He authored codes for Alfvén continua and MHD stability in three-dimensional magnetic systems and also worked with gyro-kinetic particle-in-cell codes where he was involved in the development of a fast and reliable numerical scheme for electro-magnetic calculations.

Neeraj Chaubey John Goree

Speakers: Neeraj Chaubey and John Goree
Date: February 17, 2023, 11:00 AM EST
Title: Coulomb expansion of a thin dust cloud observed experimentally under afterglow plasma conditions

Neeraj Chaubey is a postdoctoral researcher in the Physics and Astronomy Department of The University of Iowa. He received his PhD in plasma physics from the Institute for Plasma Research, India in 2017. Presently, he is working in the field of dusty plasmas with a focus on understanding dust dynamics in an afterglow plasma. Recently, he has found that the dust particles which were negatively charged in a plasma ON condition, gain a large charge positive charge in an afterglow plasma i.e., after turning OFF the plasma. His research interests are dusty plasmas, non-thermal plasma jets, non-linear dynamics, chaos, and synchronization.

John Goree received his PhD in Plasma Physics from Princeton University in 1985, and then joined the faculty of The University of Iowa. He is presently a Professor in the departments of Physics and Astronomy as well as Mechanical Engineering. He is a laboratory experimenter, with research topics that have included the fundamental physics of dusty plasmas, plasma sources for semiconductor processing, plasma diagnostics, microgravity experiments, and statistical physics.

He Cheng received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and is currently an associated professor with the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology. An author of dozens of research articles, Cheng’s current research interests include theory and modeling of gas discharge physics, the application of plasma to the environment, energy conversion, and bio-medicine.

Matt Landreman is an assistant research scientist at the University of Maryland – College Park, where he has worked since 2013. Previously, he studied at Swarthmore College and Oxford University, receiving a PhD in physics from MIT in 2011. He has worked on several aspects of collisional and turbulent transport in magnetic fusion devices, as well as optimization and magnet design methods for stellarators. Other professional interests include subcritical turbulence and computational methods.

Julian Lütgert is a PhD student in the High Energy Density Physics group of Prof. Dominik Kraus in Rostock, Germany. He received his Master's degree from TU Dresden in cooperation with the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in 2021 and worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a summer intern in 2022. Julian's research focuses on the properties of light elements under extreme conditions, such as those found in the interiors of stars or giant planets.

Cecilia Norgren is a researcher at the Space Plasma Physics Group at the Department of Physics and Technology at the University of Bergen in Norway. She received her PhD in physics from Uppsala University and the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in 2017. Using a combination of fully kinetic particle-in-cell simulations and spacecraft observations with Cluster and the Magnetospheric MultiScale mission, her research focuses on the kinetic physics of thin boundaries and magnetic reconnection, plasma heating and acceleration, and wave-particle interaction in space plasma.

Derek Schaeffer is an Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and long-term visitor in the Theory Department at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He received his BA in Physics and Philosophy from Cornell University and his PhD in Physics from UCLA. He did his postdoctoral work at Princeton in high-energy-density laboratory astrophysics, where he was one of the primary developers of pioneering laboratory experiments that utilize high-energy lasers to generate astrophysically-relevant collisionless shocks in high-energy-density plasmas. His research focuses on experiments and numerical simulations of the interaction of magnetized plasmas and strongly driven high-energy-density flows, with applications to astrophysical phenomena, particle acceleration, and inertial fusion energy.

Kenan Qu is an Associated Research Scholar in the Astrophysical Department at Princeton University. He studied quantum optics and optomechanics in Prof. Girish Agarwal’s group at Oklahoma State University and received his Ph.D degree in 2015. He then joined Prof. Nat Fisch’s group at Princeton University as a postdoc in 2016. His research activities regard theoretical and numerical modeling of laser-plasma interactions, with particular interest in Raman amplification, light with orbital angular momentum, and laser frequency upshift. He has a broad scope of interest and publications in optical topics including quantum squeezed light, quantum electrodynamics, fiber optics, laser spectroscopy, and PT-symmetry.

Jean-Pierre Boeuf is senior scientist of the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) at the LAPLACE laboratory of the University of Toulouse, France. He graduated from Centrale-Supelec and obtained his PhD from the University of Paris-Saclay. At LAPLACE, he has led a group of researchers involved in modeling and experimental work on low temperature plasmas. His research interest is focused on the basic physics and modeling of low temperature plasmas in the context of various applications such as magnetized ion sources for satellite propulsion, negative ion source for the ITER neutral beam injection system, plasma actuators for flow control, microwave applications of plasmas, microdischarges and plasma display panels, plasma switches and circuit breakers. He paid particular attention to the phenomena of self-organization and pattern formation in low-temperature plasmas (microwave plasmoids in air, filamentation of dielectric barrier discharges, striations in positive columns, rotating spokes in magnetized plasmas). For the past ten years he has been interested in the physics of ExB plasmas devices in the context of Hall thrusters and magnetron discharges and in the development of instabilities in these plasmas.

Dr. Brian M. Haines is a staff scientist in the Eulerian codes group in the Computational Physics division at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Brian has led the decadal effort to develop the xRAGE radiation-hydrodynamics simulation code into a state-of-the-art tool for studying Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) and High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) experiments. This work included contributions to the development and advancement of algorithms used to model laser physics, non-LTE effects, heat transport, radiation transport, hydrodynamics, plasma transport and viscosity, three-temperature equation of state, thermonuclear burn, and other physics necessary to model these experiments. In addition, he developed many of the simulation strategies that are now widely used to model these experiments using xRAGE. He has also pioneered the use of full-physics high-resolution three-dimensional simulations for understanding capsule implosions. This work has advanced our understanding of the impacts of engineering features and hydrodynamic instabilities on target performance and how various asymmetry seeds interact. Brian is currently the Principal Investigator for the Bosque experimental campaign to study the coupling of material mixing and thermonuclear burn. He has also served as a co-chair of the NNSA's hohlraum predictive capability working group in 2020 and served on numerous other committees. Brian has received numerous awards for his work, including two distinguished performance awards from LANL and three defense programs awards of excellence from NNSA. Brian received his PhD in mathematics in 2011 from the Pennsylvania State University, where he studied the homogenization of active fluid suspensions. He then came to Los Alamos as a Metropolis Postdoctoral Fellow, where he studied hydrodynamic instabilities and the transition to turbulence in shock tube, ICF, and HEDP experiments.

Takanobu Amano is an Associate Professor of the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of Tokyo. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo in 2008. He spent about four years at Nagoya University as a postdoctoral researcher and came back to Tokyo as a faculty member in 2012. He has mainly been working on theoretical and numerical studies on high-energy particle acceleration and kinetic plasma instabilities associated with collisionless shocks. His research is relevant for both heliospheric and astrophysical plasmas.

Taiki Jikei is currently a graduate student at the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, the University of Tokyo. After completing his master’s degree, he began Ph.D. study in April 2022. His research topics are instabilities in collisionless plasmas and fundamental studies of plasma simulations.

Emanuele Poli

Speaker: Emanuele Poli
Date: March 18, 2022 at 11:00 AM EST
Title: Nonlinear dynamics of geodesic-acoustic-mode packets
Link to view Poli's recording

Emanuele Poli is a staff member of the Tokamak Theory Division at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching bei München, Germany. He was acting director of the division from 2014 to 2016 and is an adjunct professor at the University of Ulm since 2016. He received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Pavia (Italy) in 1999, with a thesis on paraxial electron-cyclotron (EC) wave beams. Since then he was actively involved in the modelling of EC waves in several devices, including ITER and DEMO, and contributed to various aspects of the theory of high-frequency waves, in particular concerning methods for the description of beam scattering from density fluctuations in tokamaks. During his postdoc, he started to work also on kinetic simulations of plasma instabilities like the tearing mode, focusing first on neoclassical processes and later on the interaction between disparate scales, like tearing modes and turbulence, and more recently between turbulence and fast-particle-driven modes. His studies of Geodesic Acoustic Modes (GAMs) center on the application of techniques developed in different fields (like beam physics and nonlinear optics) to the description of GAM packets. The talk will review the main results of this work.

Dominik Kraus is a professor for high energy density physics at University of Rostock and group leader at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) in Germany. He received his PhD at TU Darmstadt, Germany in 2012 for experimental work at the PHELIX laser of GSI Helmholtzzentrum for heavy ion research. He then moved to UC Berkeley as a postdoc to conduct experiments at the Linac Coherent Light Source of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and at the National Ignition Facility of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 2016, he joined HZDR as a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leader to work towards first experiments using the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) at the High Energy Density instrument of European XFEL. Before starting the professorship in Rostock in 2020, he also headed the high energy density division at HZDR from 2018 to 2020. Dominik’s primary research interests are the experimental investigation of chemistry and phase transitions inside giant planets, warm and hot dense matter relevant to the interiors of stars, and the synthesis of new materials via extreme conditions.

Peter Manz

Speaker: Peter Manz
Date: January 21, 2022 at 11:00 AM EST
Title: Gyrofluid simulation of an I-mode pedestal relaxation event
Link to view Manz's recording

Peter Manz is a recently appointed professor at the Institute of Physics at the University of Greifswald. His main field of research is turbulence at the plasma edge of magnetically confined fusion plasmas, from the pedestal to the divertor chamber. Peter Manz studied at the University of Kiel. In the diploma thesis, he dealt with turbulent cascades.

During his Ph.D. at Stuttgart University, he studied the interaction of shear flows with turbulence. It was during his time as a postdoc at the University of California at San Diego that he first came into contact with I-mode. The I-mode is a fascinating tokamak confinement regime in which particles and heat transport seem to be decoupled. After returning to Germany to the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, he first investigated scrape-off layer dynamics. In recent years, together with Dr. Tim Happel, his fellow student from Kiel times, the I-mode in ASDEX Upgrade became one of his favorite topics. The paper 'Gyrofluid simulation of an I-mode pedestal relaxation event' shows simulations of relaxation processes of the outermost edge of the confined plasma. These were previously studied in detail in ASDEX Upgrade by Dr. Davide Silvagni.

The paper presented here is a bit of an anniversary, it is Peter Manz's 25th peer-reviewed first author paper.

Alexandre Lazarian

Speaker: Alexandre Lazarian
Date: December 10th at 11:00 AM EST
Title: 3D turbulent reconnection: Theory, tests, and astrophysical implications
Link to view Lazarian's recording

Alexandre Lazarian is a professor of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a joint appointment at the Department of Physics. He started his research in the theoretical physics group led by Professor Vitaly Ginzburg. Soon after his Diploma work, he got a Soros Fellowship to spend one year at Oxford University. Later, he got an Isaac Newton Studentship to do his PhD at the Department of Applied Mathematics University of Cambridge. Upon getting his PhD from Cambridge, he stayed for a short period in Austin and Harvard and later had his 3 year postdoc in Princeton. After Princeton, he got a 5 year Fellowship at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA), but spent only one year there, as he got his faculty job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alexandre P. Marcowith (Director of Research at CNRS, Laboratoire Univers et Particules de Montpellier, France) has defended his PhD in Physics in 1996 (university Paris Diderot, Grenoble Observatory, France) on the subject of kinetic theory and gamma-ray emission in relativistic blazar jets. His main research interests are in high-energy Astrophysics of compact objects (active galactic nuclei, X-ray binaries), particle acceleration and transport in turbulent flows and the origin of Cosmic Rays. He is member of the High Energy Stereoscopic System and Cherenkov Telescope Array collaborations. He is member of the International Astronomical Union and the European Astronomical Society.

Andrea Kritcher

Speaker: Andrea Kritcher
Date: September 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT
Title: Achieving record hot spot energies with large HDC implosions on NIF in HYBRID-E
Link to view Kritcher's recording

Dr. Annie Kritcher is the design lead within the ICF program for campaigns to increase implosion scale on the NIF (HYBRID-E and recent 1.35 MJ experiment N210808) and is a member of the ICF leadership team. She serves as team lead for integrated implosion modeling which oversees all experiments to increase energy coupling on the NIF. She is also a group leader within the design physics division at LLNL. Her main responsibilities as a campaign lead include setting the strategic direction of the campaign with an experimental co-lead, leading the design effort and post-shot analysis, interpretation of data, collaboration with other campaigns, and interfacing with target fabrication. Annie has served as the chair of the Strategic Initiative and Exploratory Research High Energy Density Science LDRD technical review committee, the Lawrence Fellow selection committee, Dynamic Compression Sector proposal selection committee, and the LCLS MEC peer review panel.

Annie was first employed at the Lab as a summer intern in 2004, as an LLNL Lawrence Scholar during her time at UC Berkeley, and as a Lawrence postdoctoral fellow in 2009 following completion of her Ph.D. Annie’s thesis on experimental measurements of X-ray Thomson Scattering to diagnose high energy density matter was conducted at the Jupiter laser facility (LLNL) and Omega laser facility (Rochester) which is featured in Science. During her postdoctoral appointment she continued her work on X-ray Thomson Scattering, investigated nuclear plasma interactions, and co-lead a campaign to measure the equation of state of materials to hundreds of Mbars which is featured in Nature. She also obtained an LDRD to continue this project after her postdoc. Following her postdoc she transitioned from experimental physics to design physics within the Design Physics directorate at LLNL where her main focuses included assessing the impact of low mode asymmetries on ICF implosions, ICF ablator material comparison, and increasing ICF implosion scale. This work has led to the highest fusion yields ever achieved in the laboratory (>1.35 MJ) and will be submitted to Nature.

Yakov E. Krasik received his M.Sc. (1976) in physics from the Tomsk Polytechnic Institute, Russia and Ph.D. (1980) in physics from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia. He held various academic research positions at the Nuclear Research Institute, Tomsk (1980-1991) and at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel (1991-1996). Since 1997, he joined the Physics Department, Technion, Haifa, Israel, where he is currently Professor and Head of the Plasma Physics and Pulsed Power Laboratory and holds the Max Knoll Chair in Electronics and Opto-Electronics. He supervised 23 PhD students and 26 MSc students, published 295 peer reviewed papers in leading physics journals including 14 review papers, two chapters in text books. He authored 26 patents in the field of pulsed power science. His H-index is 37 and citations number is 5000. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the IEEE Fellow and a member of the board of the Israel Plasma Society. He is a Senate member of the Technion and a member of the Technion’s Central committee. He served as a Chairman of Israeli Plasma Society for several years, has several awards from Russian government and Technion. He is the recipient of the 2020 IEEE Magne Kristiansen award for contributions to experimental nuclear and plasma science. His main research interests are in the fields of pulsed current-carrying plasmas (high-current electron and ion diodes, plasma opening switches, different types of plasma cathodes for high-current relativistic electron beam generation, nanosecond times scale electrical discharges in pressurized gases, underwater electrical wire and wire array electrical explosion and generation of strong shock waves, high power microwave generation and microwave compressors) and plasma diagnostics (different electrical probes, optical imaging, x-ray and spectroscopy). Various applications of plasma physics are also within the scope of his interests.

Earl Scime
Peiyun Shi

Speakers: Earl Scime and Peiyun Shi
Date: July 16, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT
Title: Alfvénic modes excited by the kink instability in PHASMA
Link to view Scime and Shi's recording

Earl Scime is the Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University (WVU). He currently serves as the Director of the School of Mathematical and Data Sciences at WVU and is a past Chair of the American Physical Society’s Division of Plasma Physics. He moved to WVU in 1994 from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he was a DoE Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. His research interests span fusion plasmas, space plasmas and industrial plasmas – with a cross-cutting focus on particle heating and velocity distribution function measurements. In 1992, he reported the first measurements of dynamo driven ion heating in the Madison Symmetric Torus. He has continued to measure particle velocity distributions in laboratory and space plasmas through a variety of diagnostic techniques including energetic neutral atom imaging, Thomson scattering, single photon laser induced fluorescence, cavity ring-down spectroscopy, and two-photon laser induced fluorescence. He has contributed to over 190 peer-reviewed publications and was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011. He is also founder and head coach of the award-winning robotics team, Mountaineer Area Robotics, an internationally recognized high school robotics program.

Peiyun Shi is currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for KINETIC Plasma Physics at West Virginia University. He received his PhD in plasma physics from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2019. Presently, he works on the PHASMA (PHAse Space MApping experiment), a recently commissioned fundamental plasma physics facility designed to simulate and investigate space relevant plasma phenomena in the laboratory. His research focus is on measurements of electron dynamics in flux ropes and during magnetic reconnection at the kinetic scale. Using incoherent Thomson scattering he is able to measure details of the electron velocity distribution function as a function of time during flux rope evolution and mergers of flux ropes.

Xavier Garbet

Speaker:Xavier Garbet
Date: June 11, 2021 11:00 AM EDT
Title: Wave trapping and E × B staircases
Link to view Garbet's recording

Xavier Garbet received in 1988 a PhD degree from Aix-Marseille University (France). He is currently Research Director at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). His research activity covers various aspects of magnetic fusion energy. The topics he mainly deals with are transport processes, turbulence, and stability issues in magnetized plasmas, with some predilection for theory and modelling.

Michael Murillo is a professor in the Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering department at Michigan State University. He spent the bulk of his career prior to 2016 at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he started in 1995 as a Director's Fellow. His primary research interests are in non-ideal plasma physics and has made contributions to molecular dynamics methods, kinetic theory, atomic processes in plasmas, dusty plasmas, ultracold plasmas and warm dense matter. He integrates theory, numerical models, molecular dynamics, kinetic codes and, more recently, machine learning, to waves, instabilities, transport and mixing in non-ideal plasmas. He has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, is currently a plasma physics Editorial Board Member for Physical Review E, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Alexander Simon Thrysøe

Speaker: Alexander Simon Thrysøe
Date: April 23, 2021, 11:00 AM EDT
Title: Dynamics of seeded blobs under the influence of inelastic neutral interactions
Link to view Thrysøe's recording

Alexander Simon Thrysøe is a postdoctoral researcher at Technical University of Denmark (DTU). His main field of research is numerical simulations of the turbulent edge region of magnetically confined plasmas. In 2018 he received his PhD degree at DTU after investigating the interplay between neutral particles and coherent plasma structures. The matter of plasma-neutral interactions has remained a key topic in his research after the PhD. He contributes with numerical simulations to high-priority research topics in the European fusion research program, to aid the understanding of physical mechanisms in the tokamak plasma edge region where neutral interactions with the plasma appears to be a main player. In addition to his research, Alexander is strongly involved in education of high school level students and teachers, where he promotes fusion energy as a topic for the physics class and as a possible career path for young people who wish to solve important societal challenges with science.

Richard Fitzpatrick is a native of England and is currently a professor of physics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he has been a faculty member since 1994. He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. His research is focused on the physics and control of macroscopic instabilities in tokamak plasmas. He is the author of many books, including Plasma Physics, an Introduction (2014).

Li-Jen Chen is a Research Astrophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center. She is passionate about exploring space as a laboratory to study fundamental plasma physics. Her research embraces the nonlinear dynamics of fully kinetic plasmas in systems without effective collisions such as planetary magnetospheres and the solar wind. She integrates theory, simulations, and measurements from space missions such as NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale to study magnetic reconnection and shocks. Li-Jen graduated from National Taiwan University, received her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington, did postdoctoral research at the University of Iowa, and had held research faculty positions at the University of New Hampshire and University of Maryland. In 2020, her research accomplishments were recognized with the NASA Agency Honor Award - Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal and Fellowship of the American Physical Society.

Dr. Naoki Bessho is an associate research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), and conducts numerical and theoretical studies of space plasma physics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). His research area includes magnetic reconnection, shock waves, instabilities, and particle acceleration in space and astrophysical plasmas. He received a Ph.D. in 2001 at Nagoya University, Japan, studying electron acceleration in shock waves using particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. In 2002, when he was a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Iowa, he developed a PIC simulation code, ExPIC. Until 2014, he studied kinetic physics inside the diffusion region of magnetic reconnection using ExPIC at the Space Science Center at the University of New Hampshire. In 2014, he joined a research group at UMCP and NASA GSFC, performing PIC simulations to understand space observation data obtained by NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission. Dr. Bessho’s work elucidated kinetic mechanisms to realize fast reconnection in pair plasmas, formation mechanisms of crescent electron distribution functions during reconnection in the Earth’s magnetosphere, and kinetic mechanisms to form multiple electron-only reconnection sites in the Earth’s bow shock.

Yuan Ping obtained her B.S. and M.S. degrees from University of Science & Technology of China, and her PhD in plasma physics from Princeton University in 2002. She joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a Lawrence Fellow in 2003, and stayed as a research scientist since 2006. She has broad interests in High-Energy-Density Physics, including material properties under dynamic compression, fast ignition, warm dense matter study and laser-plasma interactions, in particular, energy partition and transport in these systems. Recently she devoted her research to improving the energy efficiency in indirect-drive ICF using advanced hohlraums. She is the recipient of many awards, including the 2011 APS/DPP Katherine E. Weimer Award, and a 2013 DOE Early Career Research Program Award. She is also a Fellow of the APS since 2015.

Luc Bergé graduated in pure mathematics and in theoretical physics from the Universities of Toulouse and Paris-Sud, Orsay, France. In 1989, he received his PhD in theoretical physics, devoted to the strong Langmuir turbulence in laser-driven fusion plasmas. In 1997, he passed his Habilitation thesis on wave collapse in physics. Since 1990, he has been a research scientist at CEA (French Commission for Atomic Energy). Working first on parametric instabilities in plasmas, he turned to nonlinear optics in 1995 and investigated the self-focusing of powerful light pulses in Kerr media, proved the stability of quadratic solitons in chi2 crystals and the arrest of wave collapse by normal group-velocity dispersion. He next devoted his research to the filamentation of ultrashort laser pulses in transparent media (air, liquids or dielectrics) and related properties such as supercontinuum generation and pulse self-compression which he pioneered in the early 2000. He also worked later on nanosecond light pulses subject to stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in thick optical glasses and proposed efficient solutions to suppress SBS in large laser systems. Since 2010, Luc Bergé has focused his scientific activities on the generation of terahertz (THz) pulses from plasmas created by multi-color femtosecond pulses. With his colleagues he cleared up the underlying physics of photocurrents emitting THz waves when two-color laser pulses ionize gases. Currently, his team is exploring novel methods to produce highly energetic THz waves through laser-plasma particle (electrons, ions) accelerators, bridging thereby the fields of extreme nonlinear optics and relativistic plasma physics. Also involved in experimental efforts on innovative detection methods, Luc Bergé is coordinating the French ANR project ALTESSE, devoted to technological developments of an ultrabroadband terahertz spectroscopy based on laser-driven air plasmas.

Born in France, Laurent Gremillet received his PhD degree in plasma physics from Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, in 2001. He has since been working at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). His research activities regard the theoretical and computational modelling of laser-plasma and beam-plasma interactions, with prime interest in kinetic plasma instabilities, laser-driven particle acceleration, fast electron transport, laboratory astrophysics, and high-field physics. He is a member of the Board of the Plasma Division of the French Physical Society and of the Beam Plasma & Inertial Fusion Section of the Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society.

Dr. Roman Smirnov, one of the pioneers of computational studies of dust related phenomena in magnetic confinement fusion devises, is the next speaker in our “Features in Plasma Physics” webinar series. He started research in the field of fusion plasma in 2002 during his PhD at the National Institute for Fusion Science, Japan. Since 2006, he has been working as a scientist at University of California San Diego in Plasma Theory Group headed by Prof. Krasheninnikov. During these years Dr. Smirnov and his colleagues made prominent contributions in studies of dust in fusion plasmas, an emerging field of fusion plasma science. His research interest also includes related fields of plasma-material interactions and transport phenomena in peripheral plasma regions of tokamaks. Processes taking place in tokamak’s boundary plasma play essential role in sustainment of fusion reaction conditions in the plasma core and are critically important for longevity of plasma-facing materials in next generation fusion reactors. Dr. Smirnov’s work demonstrates profound and sometimes unexpected effects of impurities in form of dust on edge plasma transport. These studies open door for development of novel methods to control fusion plasma boundary with injection of dust of various characteristics and quantities.

Professor Chandrashekhar (Chan) Joshi, recognized as the father of the experimental field of plasma-based particle accelerators, is the first speaker in our “Features in Plasma Physics” webinar series. He started the first research group on Plasma Acceleration at UCLA in 1982 and made landmark contributions to all four avatars of plasma-based wakefield accelerators. Such wakes are now being considered as accelerating structures for the next generation of particle colliders and compact light sources to make these critical instruments of scientific discovery compact and affordable. Over the past four decades Joshi and his colleagues have demonstrated nearly every energy gain and accelerating gradient milestone and high efficiency electron and positron acceleration by plasma wakes and discovered new phenomena such as ionization trapping, betatron radiation and refraction of a relativistic particle beam at plasma-vacuum boundary. Professor Joshi has been honored with APS-DPP’s Excellence in Plasma Physics Award (1996), Maxwell Prize (2006), IEEE’s Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award (2009) and Marie Sklodowska Curie Award and Medal (2017). He is a Fellow of the APS, IEEE and IoP and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (2014).