This Site

Return to Faculty Directory

James Drake

Drake, James F., Jr.

Distinguished University Professor (2014)
Professor of Physics
3311 A. V. Williams Building

Research Interests: 

Professor Drake's research interest is broad, ranging from laboratory magnetic confinement fusion experiments to space plasmas. In magnetospheric physics, his research has focused on the mechanisms by which energy stored in global magnetic fields is transferred to energetic particles. In recent years, Prof. Drake and his colleagues have made important contributions to the understanding of large-scale magnetohydrodynamic activity and thermal and particle transport in laboratory plasma. He has developed computational and analytical techniques to study the rich variety of nonlinear phenomena which occur in present experiments. His work on the mechanisms controlling fast magnetic reconnection and associated particle acceleration has been widely recognized in the laboratory, the space and astrophysical plasma communities.


Professor Drake received his doctorate in physics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1975. He has been with the University of Maryland since 1978.

Honors and Awards: 

Professor Drake was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics (1986) , a lifetime national associate of the National Academies, the recipient of the APS James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics (2010), a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2012), and University of Maryland distinguished university professor (2014).     Professor Drake and Dr. Marc Swisdak received the NASA Group Achievement Award as part of the MMS Instrument Suite Team (June 28, 2016).