University of Maryland

Plasma Theory Group
Institute for Plasma Research

Group Members

Teaching Faculty

Thomas M. Antonsen, Jr.
James F. Drake, Jr.
Adil Hassam
Chuan Sheng Liu
Edward Ott

Research Scientists

William Dorland
Parvez N. Guzdar
Serguei Novakovski
Barrett Rogers

Research Associates

Natalia Gondarenko
Robert G. Kleva
Michael Shay
Marc Swisdak

Teaching Faculty

(Asterisk after the name indicates email address)

Thomas M. Antonsen, Jr.,* Professor, was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1950. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1973, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1976 and 1977, all from Cornell University. He was a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory in 1976-1977, and a research scientist in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT from 1977 to 1980. In 1980 he moved to the University of Maryland where he joined the faculty of the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Physics in 1984. He is currently professor of physics and electrical engineering.

Prof. Antonsen has held visiting appointments at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (UCSB), the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Institute de Physique Theorique, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France. He was selected as a fellow of the Division of Plasma Physics of the American Physical Society in 1986.

Prof. Antonsen's research interests include the theory of magnetically confined plasmas, the theory and design of high power sources of coherent radiation, nonlinear dynamics in fluids, and the theory of the interaction of intense laser pulses and plasmas. He is the author or co-author of over 140 journal articles and co-author of the book "Principles of Free-Electron Lasers." Prof. Antonsen has served on the editorial board of Physical Review Letters, The Physics of Fluids, and Comments on Plasma Physics.

James F. Drake, Jr.,* Professor, earned his bachelors degree from UCLA and remained at UCLA to complete his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1975. After completing his doctorate, Professor Drake remained at UCLA for a brief time as a post-doctoral scholar and then moved to the University of Maryland first as a post-doctoral scholar and then as a member of the teaching faculty.

Professor Drake has worked on a very broad range of topics in the general area of theoretical plasma physics using both analytical and numerical techniques. His work has applications spanning a variety of physical systems, including the solar corona, the earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere, magnetically confined plasma, and the interaction of intense lasers with plasma. His present focus is on magnetic reconnection with space physics applications and turbulence and transport with applications to the magnetic fusion program. In recognition for his contributions to the field of plasma physics, he was granted fellowship status in the American Physical Society and was awarded a Humboldt Senior Scientist Research Award.

Adil Hassam,* Professor, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (Plasma Physics). He received BS and MS degrees in physics from MIT in 1974 and a Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University in 1978. Since then he has been a member of the Institute for Plasma Research at the University of Maryland. He is an expert in dissipative magnetohydrodynamics. His research has ranged from laboratory and fusion plasmas to magnetospheric and solar plasmas. His current interests are in MHD simulations and in innovation in fusion research. He has been honored twice while at Maryland for outstanding teaching.

Chuan Sheng Liu,* Professor, received his doctorate in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968. He came to Maryland in 1974. Prof. Liu has been actively studying nonlinear plasma processes both for inertial confinement fusion and magnetic fusion. These include parametric instability of the laser radiation in plasmas, solitons and chaos in laser-collective mode interactions and high frequency plasma turbulence; anomalous transport in magnetically confined plasmas (unstable modes in a magnetized plasma with temperature and density gradients), their nonlinear evolution, saturation, and consequent transport; and plasma heating and driving d.c. current in tokamaks by radiofrequency waves. Recently his research interests include self-organization in plasmas such as spontaneous rotation and self-containment.

Edward Ott,* Professor, received his doctorate from the Polytechnical Institute, Brooklyn, in 1967. He joined the Maryland faculty in 1979. Professor Ott's research interests include basic theory of chaotic dynamical systems and applications of chaos theory to problems in science and engineering.

Research Scientists

William Dorland * received his B.S. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1988, a Master's of Public Affairs from Princeton in 1993, and a Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences from Princeton in 1993. After working at the Institute for Fusion Studies in Austin for four years, he moved to Maryland in 1998. Dr. Dorland's research is generally in the area of turbulence in magnetized plasmas, with a recent emphasis on developing and understanding realistic nonlinear gyrokinetic simulations of electromagnetic plasma turbulence.

Parvez N. Guzdar* received his doctorate in physics from Gujarat University, India, in 1976. He has been with the University of Maryland since 1983. Dr. Guzdar's current research interests are: (1) two-dimensional / three-dimensional nonlinear fluid simulations of fusion, space and magnetospheric plasmas, (2) two-dimensional simulations of Navier-Stokes fluids, (3) two-dimensional modelling of self-focusing of radio waves in high-latitude ionospheric plasmas, and (4) pattern formation in the two-dimensional complex Ginzburg-Landau equations.

Serguei Novakovski* received his Ph.D. degree from the Institute of Physics-and-Technology, Moscow, Russia, in 1988. He joined the University of Maryland in 1992. Dr. Novakovski's current research focuses on enhanced confinement of plasmas in tokamaks, computer simulation of plasma instabilities, and plasma turbulence near the wall of toroidal chambers.

Barrett Rogers* received his doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. He came to Maryland in 1993. Dr. Rogers' research background spans topics in magnetic fusion, space physics, and cosmology. His recent work has addressed important discrepancies between observed tokamak stability and conventional linear theory. This work has focused largely on the nonlinear behavior of instabilities driven by collisionless magnetic reconnection, and the account of essential non-MHD (magnetohydrodynamic) effects in present-day tokamak experiments.

The research of Dr. Rogers spans several topics in the fields of magnetically confined fusion and space plasma physics. His work in both areas is based on the application of large-scale numerical simulation techniques to the theoretical study of nonlinear dynamics. This work includes both fluid and kinetic simulations of two and three dimensional magnetic reconnection phenomena, relevant to both space and laboratory applications. It has also addressed the fundamental mechanisms behind transport barrier formation in magnetic confinement fusion devices. This research is based on three dimensional electromagnetic simulations of plasma turbulence in toroidal geometry, and is focused on the nonlinear study of a large number of instabilities, including resistive and ideal ballooning modes, temperature gradient driven modes, drift waves, and tearing modes.

Research Associates

Natalia Gondarenko* received her Ph.D. from Institute of Electrophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ekaterinburg, in 1990. She joined the Institute for Plasma Research at the University of Maryland in 1997. Dr. Gondarenko's current areas of research are the generation mechanisms of irregularities in the high latitude ionosphere and the study of the nonlinear thermal self-focusing instability in the overdense ionosphere.

Robert G. Kleva* joined the University of Maryland faculty in 1979. He received his doctorate in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University in 1980. Dr. Kleva's research interests focus on nonlinear phenomena in plasmas and the stability of high pressure equilibria in tokamaks.

Michael Shay* received his doctorate from the University of Maryland in 1998, and joined the Institute for Plasma Research as a Research Associate shortly thereafter. Michael Shay studies the process of collisionless reconnection in plasmas using analytical theory and computer simulations. He is actively involved in the Space Physics community where the impact of collisionless reconnection on the Earth's magnetosphere is being studied. He is also attempting to model the collisionless reconnection processes occuring in laboratory experiments of reconnection, such as the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment at Princeton and the SST at Swarthmore.

Marc Swisdak* received his doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Colorado in 1999 and later that year began work at the Institute as a Research Associate. He studies collisionless magnetic reconnection and its role in such space environments as the Earth's magnetosphere, the solar corona, and star-forming regions. This research combines theoretical analyses and large supercomputer simulations of the reconnection process.

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