Frontiers of Plasma Science Workshops

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Fusion Energy Sciences
Town Hall Meeting: June 30 - July 1, 2015
Scientific Frontiers Workshop: August 20-21, 2015 [Panel Attendance Only]
Research Needs Workshop: October 22-23, 2015 [Panel Attendance Only]


The first workshop, "Scientific Frontiers," (to be held August 2015) will focus on identifying the grand scientific challenges in plasma science. The starting point will be critical, cross-cutting plasma processes similar to those identified in the 2007 National Research Council plasma science report as being not well understood. The goal of the workshop will be to bring together input received from across the community (via one-page white papers) on updates to the state of the art and where the frontiers are since the 2007 report.

The second workshop, "Research Needs," (to be held October 2015) will focus on identifying the research needs required to address scientific challenges at the forefront of plasma physics. It will specifically address existing experimental tools and capabilities, as well as future performance requirements at the intermediate scale and computational hardware and software needs.

Both workshops will follow the format of the successful Office of Science Basic Research Needs series of workshops. FES will select the chair and co-chair, who will define the various workshop panels and sub-panels (including any crosscutting panels) and select the panel leads. The chair, co-chair and panel leads will make up the Executive Group of the workshop. The panel leads will select the panelists and any sub-panel leads. The workshop report will be written by the chair, the co-chair, the panel leads, and any panelists designated as writers. Input from the entire community will be solicited during the preparation for the workshop and participation will be open, but the total number of attendees will be limited to preserve the "working meeting" character of the workshop. A substantial amount of work via teleconferences and other means will be done prior to the workshop, to allow the preparation of a draft.

Panel 1: Plasma atomic physics and the interface with chemistry and biology

Panel Leads: Dr. Mark Kushner (University of Michigan) & Dr. Peter Beiersdorfer (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Panel Members: Alla Safronova (Nevada), Jorge Rocca (Colorado State), Randall Smith (Harvard-Smithsonian ), David Graves (Berkeley), Michael Keidar (GWU), Jeff Hopwood (Tufts), Greg Hebner (Sandia), Igor Adamovich (Ohio State)

Research areas represented in this area include but are not limited to:

  • Multiphase plasmas
  • Low-temperature plasma physics phenomena related to plasma processing, interactions of plasmas with materials and liquids
  • Atomic physics processes in plasmas across the full range of plasma parameters (low temperature, fusion, astrophysical)

Panel 2: Turbulence and transport

Panel Leads: Dr. Bruce Remington (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) & Dr. Michael Mauel (Columbia University)
Panel Members: Greg Howes (Iowa), Forrest Doss (LANL), S. Peter Gary (LANL), Jim Stone (Princeton), Gianluca Gregori (Oxford), George Tynan (UCSD), Dmitri Ryutov (LLNL), Stewart Zweben (PPPL), Anne White (MIT)

Research areas represented in this area include but are not limited to:

  • Plasma turbulence and associated transport phenomena in all contexts (astrophysical, fusion, and high-energy-density)
  • Connection to many-body problems in condensed matter

Panel 3: Interactions of plasmas and waves

Panel Leads: Dr. Troy Carter (University of California, Los Angeles) & Dr. Gennady Shvets (University of Texas, Austin)
Panel Members: Alain Brizard (Saint Michael's), Martin Laming (NRL), Stuart Bale (Berkeley), John Cary (Boulder), Ellen Zweibel (Wisconsin), Julia Mikhailova (Princeton), Karl Krushelnik (Michigan), Nat Fisch (Princeton)

Research areas represented in this area include but are not limited to:

  • Linear and nonlinear Wave-wave, wave-particle interactions
  • Particle acceleration and radiation (laboratory and astrophysical)
  • Shock waves
  • Plasma field theory

Panel 4: Statistical mechanics of plasmas

Panel Leads: Dr. John Goree (University of Iowa) & Phil Morrison (University of Texas, Austin)
Panel Members: Jerome Daligault (LANL), Siegfried Glenzer (SLAC), Thomas Schenkel (LBNL), Scott Baalrud (Iowa), Tom Killian (Rice), Rob Rudd (LLNL), Michael Bonitz (Kiel)

Research areas represented in this area include but are not limited to:

  • Fundamental plasma kinetic theory including, but not limited to, collision operators, closures, strongly-coupled plasmas, order reduction and questions of the number of electro-mechanical degrees of freedom
  • Phase transitions, non-equilibrium processes, and warm dense matter
  • Connection to quantum mechanical descriptions

Panel 5: Plasma self-organization

Panel Leads: Dr. Igor Kaganovich (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory) & Dr. Cary Forest (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Panel Members: John S. Sarff (Wisconsin), James F. Drake (Maryland), Don Lamb (Chicago), Matthew Kunz (Princeton), Uri Shumlak (Washington), James R. Danielson (UCSD), Andre Anders (LBNL), Edward Thomas (Auburn), Daniel Brian Sinars (Sandia), R. Paul Drake (Michigan)

Research areas represented in this area include but are not limited to:

  • Magnetic self-organized states such as found in exploratory magnetic confinement and in astrophysics
  • Energy transformation between plasma flow, magnetic fields and particles, including dynamos and magnetic reconnection
  • Plasma electrical self-organization including, but not limited to, virtual cathodes and nonlinear phase space structures and waves, vortex dynamics and non-neutral plasmas