Plasma Physics at UCI



Plasmas are gases of charged particles. Plasmas are by far the most common phase of ordinary matter in the universe, both by mass and by volume. Stars (including our Sun), interstellar and intergalactic space are all plasma.  Closer to Earth, the magnetosphere, aurora, and lightning are natural plasmas. Industrial applications include lighting and materials processing, especially processing of semiconductors. Potential applications include compact particle accelerators and controlled fusion energy.

Faculty at UC Irvine are engaged in all of these areas: natural plasmas, industrial applications, plasma accelerators, and magnetically confined fusion energy.

Plasma Faculty
Research Scientists:
  • Heinz Boehmer
Postdoctoral Scholars:
  • Javier Hernandez Nicolau
  • Yangyang Yu
Research Topics Include
  • Gyrokinetic theory and massively parallel particle-in-cell simulations of fusion and space plasmas, with relevance to ITER & magnetic confinement.
  • Theoretical research on turbulence, transport, and zonal flow dynamics; non-linear plasma phenomena and non-linear wave dynamics.
  • Studies of laser wakefield acceleration of electrons and ions, high-field science, atto-second coherent x-rays, photo-nuclear physics, photo-medical physics, laser Compton γ-rays, low-dose high-contrast x-ray imaging, Auger electron cancer therapy.
  • Energetic ions in magnetic fusion devices.
  • Experimental characterization and simulation of microsecond, micron-scale plasmas.
  • Cori and Edison at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center
  • Titan at Oak Ridge National Laboratory