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Liu Chen

Professor, Physics & Astronomy
School of Physical Sciences
PH.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1972

Phone: (949) 824-3530
Fax: (949) 824-2174
Email: liuchen@uci.edu

University of California
4162 Frederick Reines Hall
Mail Code: 4575
Irvine, CA 92697
 

 

     
 
Research
Interests
Theoretical and computational plasma physics research on fusion and space plasmas, and on coherent radiation sources. Computing facilities include workstations, 16-processor C-90 at Livermore, and 2048- node CM5 at Los Alamos
 
   
URL www.physics.uci.edu/faculty/chen.html
   
Research
Abstract
The main goal of theoretical plasma physics research is to understand, at a fundamental level, collective oscillations in essentially collision-free fully ionized gases (plasmas). Such plasmas exist both in the space environment, such as the Earth's Van Allen radiation belt, and in laboratory experiments, such as the Joint European Torus (JET) for controlled thermonuclear fusion research.


For the past decade or so, my main research interest has been in the area of unstable collective oscillations (instabilities) excited by energetic [O(102) keV ~ O(1) MeV] particles in magnetically confined plasmas. The energetic particles are produced during either geomagnetic storm events or intense laboratory heating and/or future Deuterium-Tritium (D-T) fusion experiments. These collective instabilities not only could explain the observed electromagnetic wave perturbations but also could lead to, due to their macroscopic temporal and spatial scales, anomalously enhanced transport coefficients, thus affecting the energetic-particle contents and, in the case of alpha particles in the D-T experiments, the crucially important fusion ignition conditions. Since the plasmas are typically inhomogeneous and confined by a curved magnetic field, the geometries are complex. The collective instabilities, meanwhile, often evolve into finite amplitudes. We are, thus, dealing with nonlinear wave and particle dynamics in complex systems.


Both analytical and computational approaches are necessary in order to provide meaningful insights. Analytical techniques covering a wide range of mathematical physics topics such as complex-variable analysis, WKB approximations, asymptotic-matching analysis, and more, are employed. On the computational physics side, we are developing particle-simulation techniques to describe self-consistent nonlinear wave-particle interactions.
   
Publications Kinetic Theory of Geomagnetic Pulsations 3. Global Analysis of Drift-Alfven Ballooning Modes (with G. Vetoulis), J. Geophys. Res. 101, 15441 (1996).
   
  Gyrokinetic-Magnetohydrodynamic Hybrid Simulation of the Transition from Toroidal Alfven Eigenmodes to Kinetic Ballooning Modes in Tokamaks (with R. A. Santoro), Phys. Plasmas 3, 2349 (1996).
   
  Theory of Toroidal Alfven Nodes Excited by Energetic Particles in Tokamaks (with F. Zonca), Phys. Plasmas 3, 323 (1996).
   
  Theory of Shear Alfven Waves in Toroidal Plasmas (with F. Zonca), Phys. Scripta T60, 81 (1995).
   
  Resonant Damping of Toroidicity Induced Shear AlfvÚn Eigenmodes in Tokamaks (with F. Zonca), Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 592 (1992).
   
   
   
Last updated 04/01/2002