Current Projects

This page contains a list of current scientific research projects at the Basic Plasma Science Facility and present user run time allocations.

(Typically projects receive 2 weeks of run time per year)

User Projects


Fundamental Studies in Basic Plasma Science: Experimental Investigations of Alfven Wave Damping Processes Relevant to the Solar Corona
D. Wolf Savin, M. Hahn, Columbia University

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2021

Thermal Wave Resonator and Cross-field Energy Transport Studies using Single and Multiple Magnetized Electron Temperature Filaments
R. Sydora and Scott Karbashewski , Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Canada 

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2021


Generation Mechanisms of Parallel-Propagating, Collisionless, Alfvénic Shocks
C. Niemann, C. Constantin, P. Heuer, R. Dorst, UCLA Phoenix Laser Laboratory

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2021


Alfvén wave parametric decay.
S. Dorfman, Space Science Institute

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2021


Parametric Decay of Alfven-Cyclotron Waves in Low-beta Multi-ion Plasmas
Xiangrong Fu (New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM) 
Seth Dorfman (Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO)

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2021



Large-Scale Changes to Plasma Properties Caused by Strongly Emitting Surfaces 

Michael Campanell  (LLNL), Maxim Umansky  (LLNL) Grant Johnson (LLNL Undergraduate Scholar – Junior year student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)

Run allocation on SPD through June 1, 2021


Validation of BOUT++/HERMES:  The role of fueling versus transport in setting the plasma density profile
S. Mordijck, The College of William and Mary

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2020

Laboratory Study of Laser-Driven, Ion-Scale Magnetospheres
D. Schaeffer, Princeton University

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2020

Residual Energy and Nonlinear Cascade in Turbulent Alfvén Wave Interactions
C. H. K. Chen,Queen Mary University of London; S. Dorfman, Space Science Institute

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2020

Non-linear physics of the interaction between a relativistic electron beam and magnetized plasma
V. Roytershteyn, S. Dorfman, Space Science Institute; C. Cattell, University of Minnesota; G. Delzanno, B. Carlsten, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2020

Detection of Topological Plasma Waves in LAPD

Jeff Parker (LLNL) Brad Marston (Brown University) 
Steve Tobias (University of Leeds) 
Ziyan Zhu (Harvard University, Graduate Student)

Run allocation on LAPD through June 1, 2020

Campaigns and Related Projects

ICRF Campaign

Lead: C. Lau (LANL)

Experiments and projects:

Coupling studies of newly installed four-strap ICRF antenna for various antenna strap phasings. Lead: X. Yang (TAE Tech.)

Drift-wave enhancement via nonlinear fast wave interaction


Solar Wind Campaign

Lead: G. Howes (University of Iowa)

Experiments and projects:

Measurement of electron acceleration of inertial Alfvén waves.
J. Schroeder, F. Skiff, C. Kletzing, G. Howes, University of Iowa

Development of whistler wave absorption diagnostic for measuring the electron velocity distribution function.
F. Skiff

Local Group Projects

Extreme transport events in a magnetized plasma.
B. Van Compernolle, G. J. Morales, M. J. Poulos.


Nonlinear interactions between shear Alfvén waves and kink-unstable magnetic flux ropes
S. Vincena, SKP Tripathi, W. Gekelman


Polarization studies of Alfvén waves in two-ion plasmas and the development of a localized diagnostic of the ion-concentration ratio.
J. Robertson, T.A. Carter, S. Vincena


Electric field time-domain structure generation during magnetic reconnection.
SWJ Tang, W. Gekelman


Development of novel, ferrite-based antennas for electromagnetic ion cyclotron excitation.
K. Papadopoulos (U. Maryland), W. Gekelman, S. VIncena, P. Pribyl, SWJ. Tang


Plasma turbulence in a magnetic mirror geometry.
P. Travis & T.A. Carter


Reconnection during colliding laser-produced Plasmas.
W. Gekelman, C. Niemann, C. Constantin, S. Vincena, J. Pilgrim, S. Crisp, A. Fisher


Modeling arched magnetic flux ropes and eruptions in a laboratory plasma.
SKP Tripathi, K. Krynski

Spontaneous generation of plasma waves by an intense ion beam (20 keV/15 A) in a large magnetized plasma
SKP Tripathi and BaPSF staff


Propagation and damping of Alfven waves in a current carrying magnetized plasma
SKP Tripathi, S. Vincena, and W. Gekelman

photograph of collifing laser plasma and B field data