University of Maryland College Park, MD • May 20-21, 2019
(Location: The Hotel at the University of Maryland)
Co-chairs: Howard Milchberg (Univ. of Maryland) and Earl Scime (West Virginia Univ.)

The meeting organizers gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research.

   Workshop Agenda    Discussions and Videos 

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for online registration:  May 13, 2019, 11:50 PM, ET
  • Deadline to make reservations at The Hotel at the group rate: April 19, 2019

Visa Information:

Overseas workshop participants should familiarize themselves with visa requirements well in advance of the workshop.  Here are some useful resources:

U.S. Department of State =

For those who need an official invitation letter to obtain a visa from the U.S. Embassy, please email us at

Workshop charge:

The Workshop will aim to address the following questions (the "charge" of the Workshop):

  • What are the science questions that require establishment and operation of plasma science user facilities, and cannot be addressed on smaller scale single-PI experimental facilities? Are there compelling plasma science questions of such value and interest to the global scientific community that may warrant construction and operation of a new major NSF user facility? If so, what are they?
  • Under constrained resources, what are the upsides and the downsides of investing in the operation of user facilities in each of the relevant sub-fields?
  • What may be the limiting factors, e.g., the size of the community of potential users or the flexibility and ease of operation, in establishing an experimental facility as a user facility?
  • Are there particular challenges to transparent operation of user facilities specific to plasma science or any of its sub-fields? If so, what are they and what strategies or modes of operation may be used to overcome such challenges?
  • What are best practices for managing transparent and efficient operation of a plasma science user facility for mid-scale and major user facilities?

Workshop goals:

  • Identify and discuss compelling topics in plasma physics that require facilities larger than typically operated by single-PI groups.
  • Discuss lessons learned from the operation of open user facilities, collaborative facilities, user networks, and larger single/few PI facilities in the plasma physics and related scientific communities. Extract from the discussion guidance to be offered to potential future facilities, NSF, and other agencies regarding what works well.
  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages for investments in user facilities under constrained resources.

Workshop format (2 days):

  • First day: Presentations on science topics, moderated discussions, breakout sessions
  • Second day: Presentations on facilities' experiences and best practices, moderated discussions, breakout sessions, recap from science areas

Topic areas and participants:

1. Quantum properties of dense plasmas
2. Plasma in super-critical fields
3. Single component plasmas, dusty plasmas, and matter-antimatter plasmas
4. Laboratory astrophysics
5. Relativistic laser and beam plasma interactions
6. Coherent structures and energy dissipation in plasmas
7. Controlled production of chemical reactivity

1.  Quantum properties of dense plasmas

How and under what conditions do quantum properties such as spin and band structure control the behavior of dense plasmas? How and under what conditions are quantum effects and strong coupling effects linked? To study these questions, does one need physical conditions that can only be supplied by a major facility such as a big laser? Will the answers be sufficiently universal for broad application to planetary science, astrophysics, and earthbound applications in laser- and particle beam-driven fusion, or more everyday processes such as laser welding/machining and high current switches?

Sam Vinko* Univ. Oxford
Rip Collins* Univ. Rochester
Yuan Ping LLNL
Shanti Deemyad Univ. Utah
James Colgan LANL
Russ Hemley George Washington Univ.
Jon Eggert LLNL
Eva Zurek Univ. Buffalo
Mike Desjarlais Sandia National Lab
Farhat Beg UCSD
Mingsheng Wei Univ. Rochester (LLE)
Emma McBride SLAC

2.  Plasma in super-critical fields

How can we study the physics of electromagnetic fields that exceed the QED-critical field strength and its effect on plasma in a laboratory setting? What are the important physical effects at such field strengths and do we have the theoretical tools to describe them properly? How will advancements in this field affect our understanding of astrophysics and future experiments at high energy-densities?

Alec Thomas* Univ. Michigan
Stepan Bulanov* LBNL
Gerald Dunne Univ. Connecticut
Sebastian Meuren PPPL
Matthias Fuchs Univ. Nebraska Lincoln
Alex Arefiev UCSD
Stuart Mangles Imperial College
Marija Vranic IST (Portugal)
Matthias Marklund Chalmers (Sweden)


3.  Single component plasmas, dusty plasmas, and matter-antimatter plasmas

What tests of fundamental plasma theories are enabled by such plasmas, e.g., collisions, transport, shielding? Can exotic, many-body interactions of astrophysical significance be modeled in such systems? How can such systems provide tests of fundamental concepts of mass?

Joel Fajans* UC Berkeley
Eve Stenson*  Max Planck Inst.
Allen Mills UC Riverside
Dan Dubin UCSD
Lars Jorgensen CERN
Hui Chen LLNL
Ed Thomas Auburn Univ.
Francois Anderegg UCSD
Scott Baalrud Univ. Iowa

4.  Laboratory astrophysics

What are the most pressing and interesting astrophysical problems that can be reasonably represented in a laboratory plasma setting? What are the most important scaling analogies enabling laboratory experiments? What general type of lab facilities are needed (single PI, mid-scale shared, large scale shared)?

Carolyn Kuranz* Univ. Michigan
Petros Tzeferacos* Univ. Chicago
Maria Gatu Johnson MIT
Cary Forest Univ. Wisconsin
Bruce Remington LLNL
Bill Dorland Univ. Maryland
Chris Niemann UCLA
June Wicks Johns Hopkins Univ.
Tom White Univ. Nevada Reno
Federico Fiuza Stanford Univ.
Adam Frank Univ. Rochester
Karen O'Neil Green Bank Observatory
David Schaffner Bryn Mawr

5.  Relativistic laser and beam plasma interactions

What unique photon and particle beams can such interactions produce? Can such interactions be used to produce unique plasmas? Can such interactions be used to control the six dimensional phase space of ultra- bright particle beams? What physics is required to be understood for such interactions to generate plasmas, photon beams, or particle beams for tools for scientific discovery? What user facilities and software capability are needed to develop this basic physics understanding?

Felicie Albert* LLNL
Warren Mori* UCLA
Chan Joshi UCLA
Karl Krushelnick Univ. Michigan
Mike Downer Univ. Texas
Dan Gordon Naval Research Lab
Bob Cauble LLNL
Tom Antonsen Univ. Maryland
Nat Fisch PPPL
Dustin Froula Univ. Rochester
Doug Schumacher Ohio State Univ.
Jorge Vieira IST (Portugal)
Don Umstadter Univ. Nebraska Lincoln
Jorge Rocca Colorado State Univ.
Cameron Geddes LBNL

6.  Coherent structures and energy dissipation in plasmas

What are the most pressing questions about the processes whereby energy is transferred from fields and waves to particles in collisionless plasmas? Will understanding dissipation in turbulent plasmas have broad applications to fluid turbulence, astrophysics, and strongly magnetized, collisionless plasmas? Under what conditions do coherent structures emerge from nonlinearly interacting waves and fields? What scale of experiment would be required to inform the science of multi-messenger astrophysics, or to investigate coherent structure formation?

Jim Drake* Univ. Maryland
Mike Brown* Swarthmore
Bill Matthaeus Univ. Delaware
Troy Carter UCLA
Greg Howes Univ. Iowa
Jan Egedal Univ. Wisconsin
Bill Daughton Los Alamos National Lab
Mel Goldstein NASA-GSFC
Paul Cassak West Virginia Univ.
Fred Skiff Univ. Iowa
Craig Kletzing Univ. Iowa
Bill Amatucci Naval Research Lab
Saikat Thakur UCSD
Ivo Furno EPFL (Switzerland)
Yevgeny Raitses PPPL
David Newman Univ. Alaska Fairbanks
Erik Tejero Naval Research Lab

7. Controlled production of chemical reactivity

Initial studies suggest that plasmas affect living systems through many of the same pathways typically identified for chemical/biological interactions. What scale of laboratory facility is required to provide the diagnostic tools required to make progress in understanding the mechanisms responsible for the physiological effects created by plasmas interacting with living systems?

Mark Kushner* Univ. Michigan
Steven Shannon* North Carolina State Univ.
Ed Barnat Sandia National Labs
Gottlieb Oehrlein Univ. Maryland
Igor Adamovich Ohio State Univ.
Igor Kaganovich PPPL
Chunqi Jiang Old Dominion Univ.
John Foster Univ. Michigan
Peter Bruggeman Univ. Minnesota
Vincent Donnely Univ. Houston
Uwe Konopka Auburn Univ.