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

Congratulations, Sinan!

Congratulations to Sinan Oral, one of FAPPG's undergraduate student researchers. On November 22, UC San Diego's Division of Physical Sciences announced that Sinan was selected as a recipient of a Dean's Undergraduate Award for Excellence.

Sinan's research project focuses on the problem of turbulent transport and confinement transitions in a weakly stochastic background magnetic field. The study is motivated by the goal of reconciling good confinement and good boundary control — a central issue for magnetic fusion and ITER.

SoCal Plasma Zoom virtual seminars resume October 12.

Join us via Zoom for a series of seminars on all areas of plasma physics and related fields, hosted by UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, and the DIII-D Burning Plasma Physics Group.

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

Festival de Théorie 2021 banner

Festival de Théorie 2021 Lecture Series —
June 1 to July 2, 2021

Due to the pandemic, an in-person Festival de Théorie has been postponed until June 2022.

Instead, a virtual Festival de Théorie Lecture Series will be held this year. The organizers and your colleagues hope to see you online!

Learn more about Festival de Théorie 2021 Lecture Series.

Zoom meetings: Contact Guilhem Dif-Pradalier at for Zoom meeting information and to receive Festival announcements.


Well done, Justin!

Congratulations to Justin Tahmassebpur, one of FAPPG's undergraduate collaborators. On June 3, UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering recognized Justin with a 2020-2021 Electrical & Computer Engineering Best Undergraduate Research Award.

Justin's research analyzed how fan-generated turbulent jets diffused clouds of virus particles in poorly ventilated rooms. Justin found that diffusion reduced peak virus concentrations to levels where people were no longer at risk of infection. Future applications of this work could help curb the risk of COVID-19 virus infection in indoor settings.

Robin Heinonen with Eifel Tower in background

Well done, Robin!

Congratulations to our fellow group member, Robin Heinonen, who defended his Ph.D. thesis via Zoom on February 24.

Robin's work has focused on plasma turbulence, avalanching, and zonal flows. Be sure to check out Robin's defense presentation. We look forward to future collaborations with Dr. Heinonen!

Learn more about Robin's research.

Machine learning simulation at San Diego Supercomputer Center

FAPPG Machine Learning Research in the News

We're pleased that our recent 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

Subscribe to Seminar Alerts to receive speaker announcements and Zoom meeting information by email. You can also view a list of recent speakers and recorded seminars.

We invite you to add this SoCal Plasma Zoom Calendar to your personal Google Calendar. (Note: All times shown are Pacific Time.)

Discover new research. Get seminar information delivered to your inbox.
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Newest Publications

Instability and Turbulent Relaxation in a Stochastic Magnetic Field
Cao, Mingyun and P.H. Diamond
Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion, 2022; doi:10.1088/1361-6587/ac47d7
[download PDF]

Ion Heat and Parallel Momentum Transport by Stochastic Magnetic Fields and Turbulence
Chen, Chang-Chun, P.H. Diamond and S.M. Tobias
Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 64, 015006, 2021; doi:10.1088/1361-6587/ac38b2
[download PDF]

Enhanced Particle Transport Events Approaching the Density Limit of the J-TEXT Tokamak
Long, T., P.H. Diamond, R. Ke, L. Nie, M. Xu, X.Y. Zhang, B.L. Li, Z.P. Chen, X. Xu, Z.H. Wang, et al.
Nucl. Fusion 61(12), 126066, 2021 ; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/ac36f2
[download PDF]

Let It Rip: The Mechanics of Self-Bisection in Asexual Planarians Determines Their Population Reproductive Strategies
Goel, Tapan, D. Ireland, V. Shetty, C. Rabeler, P.H. Diamond, and E.-M. S. Collins
Phys. Biol. 19, 016002, 2021; doi:10.1088/1478-3975/ac2f29
[download PDF]

Physics of Turbulence Spreading and Explicit Nonlocality
Yan, Qinghao and P.H. Diamond
Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 63, 085017, 2021 ; doi:10.1088/1361-6587/ac0a3c
[download PDF]

Bounds on Edge Shear Layer Persistence While Approaching the Density Limit
Singh, Rameswar and P.H. Diamond
Nucl. Fusion 61, 076009, 2021; doi:10.1088/1741-4326/abfadb
[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.