As theoretical physicists...

We aim to understand the phenomenology of plasma in the laboratory and in the cosmos. We use mathematical models and computer simulations to explain how plasmas move, interact with magnetic fields and boundaries, and evolve on various scales.

Working with collaborators in the U.S. and around the world, we advance fundamental physics concepts that guide experiments and project applications, such as the development of magnetic fusion energy.

This website offers information about our group members, research activities, and publications. We invite you to browse it and to contact us with any questions.

News and Announcements

Mingyun Cao

International Center Fellowship

FAPPG graduate student Mingyun Cao was awarded a 2022-2023 Friends of the International Center Endowed Fellowship. The Center's fellowship supports UC San Diego graduate students in conducting research or study abroad activities that enhance their academic experience and foster friendship, understanding and cooperation in the international community. Congratulations, Mingyun!

Taurean Zhang, UCSD student

Commencement Award

Congratulations to FAPPG undergraduate student Taurean Zhang, who won a 2022 Malmberg Award from UC San Diego's Department of Physics. The John Holmes Malmberg Prize is presented annually at commencement to a graduating physics student who is recognized for potential for a career in physics and a measure of experimental inquisitiveness. Brilliantly done, Taurean!

Fredy Ramirez, plasma physicist

Teaching Honors

Congratulations to FAPPG Ph.D. student Fredy Ramirez, who was awarded a 2021-2022 UC San Diego Physics Department Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award.

This award recoginizes first- and second-year graduate students for outstanding performance as a teaching assistant. Many congratulations, Fredy!

SoCal Plasma Zoom on summer break

Congratulations on finishing the academic year! We'll be taking a break from virtual seminars until September. Thanks for being part of our community.

Feel welcome to send feedback to improve our 2022-2023 seminar series or offer speaker suggestions.

Subscribe to SoCal Plasma Zoom email alerts and add our Google Calendar to your personal calendar for updates.

Defense success!

Congratulations to UC San Diego graduate student Tapan Goel, who defended a Ph.D. thesis in late June.

Tapan — advised by Drs. Eva-Maria Collins (Swarthmore College) and Diamond (UC San Diego) — investigated biophysical mechanisms underlying invertebrate development and behavior. Tapan's research has been published in PLoS One, Physical Biology and Biophysical Journal. Congratulations, Tapan!

Chang-Chun Chen

Well done, Samantha!

Congratulations to FAPPG scientist Chang-Chun "Samantha" Chen, who defended her Ph.D. thesis on May 4, 2022.

Samantha's wide-ranging work has focused on stochasticity in magnetic fields, potential vorticity, transport and MHD turbulence, and astrophysical phenomena, such as accretion disks. Be sure to check out Samantha's defense presentation. We look forward to future collaborations with Dr. Chen!

Learn more about Samantha's research.

Machine learning simulation at San Diego Supercomputer Center

FAPPG Machine Learning Research in the News

We're pleased that our Physical Review E publication on using machine learning to better understand turbulence density and viscosity was featured by UC San Diego News. This piece highlights the collaboration between our research group and the San Diego Supercomputer Center, which provides the immense processing power needed for these machine learning applications.

Upcoming Seminars

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Newest Publications

Staircase Formation by Resonant and Non-Resonant Transport of Potential Vorticity
Yan, Qinghao and P.H. Diamond
Nucl. Fusion 62, 126032, 2022; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/ac9006
[download PDF]

Theory of Mean ExB Shear in a Stochastic Magnetic Field: Ambipolarity Breaking and Radial Current
Guo, Weixin, M. Jiang, P.H. Diamond, C.-C. Chen, Mingyun Cao, Hanhui Li and T. Long
Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 64, 124001, 2022; doi:10.1088/1361-6587/ac93b0
[download PDF]

Zonal Flow Screening in Negative Triangularity Tokamaks
Singh, Rameswar and P.H. Diamond
Nucl. Fusion 2022 ; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/ac945e

Zonal Shear Layer Collapse and the Power Scaling of the Density Limit: Old L-H Wine in New Bottles
Singh, Rameswar and P.H. Diamond
Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 64, 084004, 2022; doi:10.1088/1361-6587/ac7972
[download PDF]

Electrode Biasing Maintains the Edge Shear Layer at High Density in the J-TEXT Tokamak
Ke, R., P.H. Diamond, T. Long, M. Xu, Z.P. Chen, L. Gao, Q.H. Yang, Y.H. Wang, X.Y. Zhang, L. Nie, et al.
Nucl. Fusion 62, 076014, 2022; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/ac5fe9
[download PDF]

Momentum and Heat Transport in MHD Turbulence in Presence of Stochastic Magnetic Fields
Chen, Chang-Chun
Ph.D. Dissertation, Dept. of Physics, UC San Diego, 2022
[download PDF]

View more publications.



We develop theory related to plasma and fusion science, 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

Learn more.



Our work is primarily funded by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy (Grant No. DE-FG02-04ER54738).



In memory of Professor Marshall N. Rosenbluth, an American plasma physicist and UCSD professor of enormous intellect, integrity, generosity, and vision.