William Heidbrink

    William Heidbrink


  Professor of Physics  
  Experimental Plasma Physics    
  (949) 824-5398


D3D tokamak
DIII-D tokamak


Professor Heidbrink earned his B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1977. For the next two years he performed industrial research in pulsed power at Maxwell Laboratories. In 1984, he received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. After working as a staff member on the TFTR tokamak   (Princeton) and the DIII-D tokamak (General Atomics), he joined the UCI Physics Department in 1988. He was the 1995 recipient of the Lauds & Laurels award for Distinguished Teaching and was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1996. In 2004, he received the Excellence in Plasma Physics Research award from the American Physical Society. He won the UCI Academic Senate's Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching in 2017-2018.

Professor Heidbrink studies high energy "fast" ions in magnetic fusion experiments. Instabilities that are driven unstable by the free energy in the fast-ion population are a major area of study. Other important topics include diagnostic development and measurements of fast-ion confinement. The research is conducted throughout the world. The DIII-D tokamak   in San Diego is the leading magnetic fusion facility in the USA. The properties of fast ions in a spherical tokamak are measured in the NSTX-U device   at Princeton and the MAST-U device   in England. He also develops diagnostics for new facilities such as the JT-60SA tokamak   in Japan. An introduction to this research area appears in a 2015 Physics Today article. An introduction at the level of plasma physics graduate students appeared in a 2008 review paper.

In addition to his research, Professor Heidbrink enjoys teaching all levels of the curriculum, from large introductory courses to graduate plasma physics. He also trains undergraduates to perform physics assemblies in neighboring elementary schools.

More personally, view his "What matters to me and why" presentation, where he uses swim fins, a Bible verse, a liquid nitrogen cannon, and a Russian clock to illustrate four activities that are important to him.

  UCI "Adventures in Physics" Outreach Program

  Ph.D. Students, Postdocs, and Recent Dissertations

e-mail:   wwheidbr@uci.edu

Last update,  Oct. 2015 

NSTX device