Plasma And NonLinear Dynamics

Plasma And NonLinear Dynamics

The study of plasma physics and nonlinear dynamics focuses on the properties of classical, collective, many-body systems. Applications include plasma processing, fusion, intense charged particle beams and fluid dynamics.

At Berkeley, active areas of research include advanced accelerators, astro and space plasmas, basic and theoretical plasma physics, heavy ion fusion, high power laser-plasma interactions, ion beam generation, plasma processing, plasma simulations and pure-electron plasmas, as well as dissipative and Hamiltonian dynamical systems, bifurcation theory and chaos, linear and nonlinear waves, and pattern formation, particularly in fluid dynamics and continuum mechanics. Also included are interdisciplinary applications of dynamical systems theory and geometrical and topological methods to a broad range of physical problems in plasma, optical, atomic, nuclear and molecular physics. Research is carried out in the Physics Department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Space Sciences Lab, as well as in the Astronomy, Math, Chemical, Electrical, and Nuclear Engineering Departments.

Physics Faculty

Theorists

Edgar Knobloch

Professor

Biography

Edgar Knobloch, Ph.D., Harvard University (1978), Sc.D. University of Cambridge (1994). Faculty member since 1978.

Research Interests

My research interests center on nonlinear dynamics of dissipative systems. These focus on bifurcation theory, particularly in systems with symmetries, transition to chaos in such systems, low-dimensional behavior of continuous systems and the theory of nonlinear waves.

Robert Littlejohn

Professor

Biography

Robert Littlejohn received his B.A. in 1975 and his Ph.D. in 1980, both from the University of California at Berkeley. After postdoctoral positions at the La Jolla Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles, he joined the Berkeley faculty in 1983.

Research Interests

I have broad interests in atomic, molecular, nuclear, optical, and plasma physics, and in nonlinear dynamics. I am especially interested in mathematical aspects of basic problems in applied physics.

Jonathan Wurtele

Professor

Biography

Jonathan Wurtele received his B.A. (Physics and Mathematics) in 1979 and his Ph.D. (Physics) in 1985 from UC Berkeley. He was a Research Scientist at MIT’s Plasma Fusion Center (1984-87) and Assistant and Associate Professor in MIT’s Physics Department (1987-95).

Research Interests

My research interests are in beam and plasma physics, trapping and measuring the spectral and gravitational properties of antihydrogen, free electron lasers, and climate change.

Experimentalists

Joel Fajans

Professor

Biography

Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985. Joined Berkeley faculty in 1988.

Research Interests

Although most of the universe is in the plasma state, the basic properties of plasmas are not well understood. Plasmas are collective systems, and exhibit remarkably complicated nonlinear behaviors like turbulence and chaos.