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  • Plasma and Nonlinear Physics

    The study of plasma physics and nonlinear dynamics focuses on the properties of classical, collective, many-body systems. Applications include plasma processing, fusion, intense charged particle beams and fluid dynamics.

    At Berkeley, active areas of research include advanced accelerators, astrophysical and space plasmas, basic and theoretical plasma physics, heavy ion fusion, high power laser-plasma interactions, ion beam generation, plasma processing, plasma simulations and pure-electron plasmas, as well as dissipative and Hamiltonian dynamical systems, bifurcation theory and chaos, linear and nonlinear waves, and pattern formation, particularly in fluid dynamics and continuum mechanics. Also included are interdisciplinary applications of dynamical systems theory and geometrical and topological methods to a broad range of physical problems in plasma, optical, atomic, nuclear and molecular physics. Research is carried out in the physics department, LBL, and the Space Sciences Lab, as well as collaboratively with faculty in the astronomy, mathematics, and engineering departments.

    Explore Projects

    Prof. Jonathan Wurtele
    Laser intensity is limited by material damage to conventional optical elements (e.g., mirrors, lenses, etc). One idea for reaching orders-of-magnitude higher laser intensity is to use a plasma-based amplifier [...]