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.

Special Announcements

Rima Hajjar

Rima Wins at TTF

Congratulations to Rima, who won a Student Presentation Award at the U.S. Transport Task Force (TTF) Workshop in May.

Poster title: "Dynamics of Zonal Shear Collapse in Hydrodynamic Electron Limit ↔ Transport Physics of the Density Limit"

View Presentation

Learn more about Rima

Xiang Fan presenting at a 2017 conference

Xiang Wins at Sherwood

Congratulations to Xiang Fan, who won a Student Poster Award at the Sherwood Fusion Theory Conference in April.

Poster title: "Turbulence and Transport in Elastic Media: A New Look at Classic Themes"

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Learn more about Xiang

Jiacong Li

Congratulations, Jiacong!

Jiacong Li defended his doctoral thesis on March 20th. Thanks to all who attended!

Thesis title: "Intrinsic plasma flows in straight magnetic fields: generation, frictionless saturation, and interaction"

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View Thesis

Learn more about Jiacong

Rima Hajjar

Congratulations, Rima!

Rima Hajjar defended her doctoral thesis on February 26th. Thanks to all who attended!

Thesis title: "Ecology of flows and drift wave turbulence: reduced models and applications"

View Presentation
View Thesis

Learn more about Rima

color-coded representation of planaria fission process, figure 3a from PNAS paper

Biomechanics research highlighted in Nature Physics

We're thrilled that our recent PNAS paper on fission biomechanics in planaira flatworms was a Research Highlight in the November 2017 issue of Nature Physics.

Get the full PNAS paper.

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Latest Publications

Dynamics of Zonal Shear Collapse with Hydrodynamic Electrons
Hajjar, R.J., P.H. Diamond, and M.A. Malkov
Phys. Plasmas 25, 062306, 2018; doi:10.1063/1.5030345
[pdf, author's final version]

How Shear Increments Affect the Flow Production Branching Ratio in CSDX
Li, J.C. and P.H. Diamond
Phys. Plasmas 25, 062112, 2018; doi:10.1063/1.5033911
[pdf, accepted manuscript]

Gyrokinetic theory of turbulent acceleration and momentum conservation in tokamak plasmas
Wang, Lu, Shuitao Peng, and P.H. Diamond
Plasma Sci. Technol. 20, 074004, 2018; doi:10.1088/2058-6272/aab5bc

Tracing the Pathway from Drift-Wave Turbulence with Broken Symmetry to the Production of Sheared Axial Mean Flow
Hong, R., J.C. Li, S. Chakraborty Thakur, R. Hajjar, P.H. Diamond, and G.R. Tynan
Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 205001, 2018; doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.205001
[pdf, publisher's version]

Generation of Parasitic Axial Flow by Drift Wave Turbulence with Broken Symmetry: Theory and Experiment
Hong, R., J.C. Li, R. Hajjar, S. Chakraborty Thakur, P.H. Diamond, and G.R. Tynan
Phys. Plasmas 25, 055710, 2018; doi:10.1063/1.5017884
[pdf, author's final version (accepted manuscript)]

Another Look at Zonal Flows: Resonance, Shearing, and Frictionless Saturation
Li, J.C. and P.H. Diamond
Phys. Plasmas 25, 042113, 2018; doi:10.1063/1.5027107
[pdf, author's final version]

Ecology of Flows and Drift Wave Turbulence: Reduced Models and Applications
Hajjar, Rima
Ph.D. Dissertation, Engineering Physics, UC San Diego, 2018
[pdf, author's version]

Observation of Multi-Channel Non-Local Transport in J-TEXT Plasmas
Shi, Yuejiang, Z. Chen, Z. Yang, P. Shi, K. Zhao, P.H. Diamond, J-M. Kwon, et al.
Nucl. Fusion 58, 044002, 2018; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/aaaa9b

The Ecology of Flows and Drift Wave Turbulence in CSDX: A Model
Hajjar, R.J., P.H. Diamond, and G.R. Tynan
Phys. Plasmas 25, 022301, 2018; doi:10.1063/1.5018320
[pdf, author's final version]

CHNS: A Case Study of Turbulence in Elastic Media
Fan, X., P.H. Diamond, and L. Chacón
Phys. Plasmas 25, 055702, 2018; doi:10.1063/1.5016075
[pdf, author's final version]

Temporal-Spatial Structures of Plasmas Flows and Turbulence Around Tearing Mode Islands in the Edge Tokamak Plasmas
Zhao, K.J., Y. Nagashima, F.M. Li, Yuejiang Shi, P.H. Diamond, J.Q. Dong, K. Itoh, et al.
Nucl. Fusion 57, 126006, 2017; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/aa8341

Edge Shear Flows and Particle Transport Near the Density Limit of the HL-2A Tokamak
Hong, R., G.R. Tynan, P.H. Diamond, L. Nie, D. Guo, T. Long, R. Ke, Y. Wu, B. Yuan, M. Xu, and The HL-2A Team
Nucl. Fusion 58, 016041, 2017; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/aa9626

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.