University of Maryland
Friday, December 11, 2015
Landau damping is perhaps the most essentially kinetic phenomenon in plasma physics, and certainly one of the most important. In this talk, I will present theoretical and numerical evidence for the limits of Landau damping. The basic idea is to work out when phase mixing (which transfers energy from fields to high-order moments of the distribution function) is overcome by other processes, such as turbulent mixing. Implications of our findings range from understanding differential heating of various plasma species in a turbulent plasma to understanding the circumstances in which one can safely use fluid models vs. kinetic models
Professor Dorland's research in energy technology is focused on improving the viability of magnetic confinement schemes for controlled nuclear fusion. More specifically, he is working on developing and testing theoretical descriptions of turbulence in magnetized plasma from first-principles. Turbulence enhances both the transport and absorption of energy in hot, magnetized plasma, and is the most critical remaining physics problem to be solved in the area of nuclear fusion energy research.