Fusion and Astrophysical Plasma Physics Group

The Fusion and Astrophysical Plasma Physics Group within the Physics Department and the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at the University of California, San Diego is led by Professor Patrick H. Diamond, Distinguished Professor of Physics, and consists of two research scientists-- Mikhail Malkov, Fred Hinton, and two graduate student researchers-- and is managed by an administrative assistant.

Most Recent Publication:

Small Scale Coherent Vortex Generation in Drift Wave-Zonal Flow Turbulence - Z.B. Guo, T.S. Hahm and P.H. Diamond

We present a paradigm for the generation of small scale coherentvortex (SSCV) in drift wave-zonal flow (DW-ZF) turbulence. We demonstrate that phases of DWs can couple coherently, mediated by the ZF shearing. A SSCV is formed when the phases of the DWs are “attracted” to form a stable “phase cluster.” We show that the ZF shearing induces asymmetry between “attractive” and “repulsive” phase couplings, so that a net attractive phase coupling results. The turbulent DWs will (partially)synchronize into a stable SSCV at locations, where the attractive phase coupling induced by the ZF shearing exceeds the “detuning” effects by the DW dispersion and random phase scattering. We also discuss the “self-binding” effect of the newly formed SSCV.



To the memory of Professor Marshall N. Rosenbluth - an American plasma physicist and member of the National Academy of Sciences - who passed away on September 23, 2003.


We are working primarily on the theory of fusion plasma including:

  • Nonlinear dynamics of plasmas and fluids
  • Anomalous transport
  • Self-organized criticality in confined plasma
  • L-H transition, transport barrier physics
  • Dynamo theory
  • Nonlinear waves in space plasma



Our work is primarily funded by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Grant No. DE-FG02-04ER54738.