My research has centered on magnetic reconnection in space and laboratory plasmas, with emphasis on energy transport, particle distributions, electrostatic instabilities and nonlinear processes during both reconnection and during auroral electron acceleration. In June of 2008 I received a $3.3M 10 year grant from NASA on magnetic reconnection theory in support of NASAs highest priority space mission, the MMS satellite launched on March 12, 2015. My responsibility for this mission is to perform and coordinate research with my team of Physics Department and LASP researchers, students, postdocs and consultants. We contribute to the design of instruments and spacecraft software by developing theoretical and computational models of the physics of reconnection in the magnetosphere. I work closely with NASA, going to Washington a number of times each year to coordinate with administrators, engineers and other scientists.
plasma physics, basic plasma physics, magnetic reconnection, nonlinear waves and field structures, electron phase space holes, double layers, magnetospheric physics, auroral ionosphere physics, radiation-plasma interaction, linear instabilities, shear, nonlinear electron distributions, BGK waves
PHYS 3000 - Science and Public Policy
For nonscience majors. Reading, discussions, debates and lectures are used to study how science affects society economically, intellectually, and in terms of health and national security. Another focus is how government fosters and funds scientific activities. Department enforced prerequisite: completion of core science requirement.