Fall 2021

Princeton University

Postdoctoral Position in Magnetized High-Energy-Density Physics

The Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University invites applications for a postdoctoral or more senior research position in magnetized high-energy-density physics (HEDP).  The successful candidate will work with Drs. Derek Schaeffer and Will Fox to study the interaction of strongly-driven flows with magnetized HED plasmas and will have the opportunity to develop and execute experiments at large laser facilities and to develop particle-in-cell simulations modeling the experiments.  Topics include but are not limited to how particles are heated and energized in magnetized collisionless shocks and by magnetic reconnection.  The successful candidate will have access to state-of-the-art computational facilities and laboratory experiments, opportunities for collaboration with several universities and national laboratories, including Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), and support for travel.

Appointments are for one year, renewable annually based on funding and satisfactory performance, for a total of up to three years. The expected starting date is May 1, 2021, although this is flexible and an earlier starting date is preferred. A PhD in Physics or a related field is required, and an experimental or computational background in HEDP, plasma physics, or laboratory astrophysics is strongly preferred.

Interested persons should submit a curriculum vitae, a publication list, and a research statement (up to two pages), and provide contact information for three references by December 31, 2021, 11:59 pm ET. Our department is committed to diversity and making the field more equitable and inclusive. With this in mind, we will take into consideration personal experiences, as well as efforts in education, outreach or other service activities related to plasma physics or other sciences. Applicants are invited to describe such experiences and their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the cover letter.

Applicants must apply via the web at: https://www.princeton.edu/acad-positions/position/23701. Letters of recommendation will also be handled through this site. All applications received by December 31, 2021 will be fully considered, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. For further inquiries, contact Dr. Schaeffer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr. Fox at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This position is subject to the University's background check policy. Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.



Asistant faculty position in experimental plasma physics at UCLA

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) invites applications for a full time faculty position at the assistant professor level in the area of experimental plasma physics. The Department is seeking outstanding candidates with the potential for exceptional research, the capacity for excellence in teaching, and a clear commitment to enhancing the diversity of the department. Individuals with a history of and commitment to mentoring students from underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate is expected to contribute to the teaching mission of the department at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and to establish a vigorous, externally funded research program. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree prior to the anticipated start date, which is July 1, 2022. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

The UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy has active research programs in theoretical, computational, and experimental plasma physics which include particle-in-cell simulation, turbulence and transport in magnetized plasmas, the nonlinear optics of plasmas, intense laser and beam plasma interactions, plasma-based acceleration, magnetic reconnection, inertial and magnetic confinement fusion energy, high-energy density plasmas, and space plasmas. Outstanding candidates are sought with expertise in plasma experiment and research
interests in frontier areas of plasma physics.

Initial review will start on November 29, 2021 and for full consideration, applications should be received by January 3, 2022, however applications will be accepted after that date and until the search is closed.

Apply online via the UCLA Academic Recruit website: https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/apply/JPF06939. Candidates should please submit: a cover letter; a curriculum vita; a statement of research accomplishments, interests and plans; a list of publications; a statement of teaching experience or interest; and a statement on the candidate's past, present, or planned contribution to equity, diversity and inclusion. Please arrange through this website to have 3-5 letters of recommendation submitted as well.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy please cut and paste the following link into a browser:



Postdoctoral Associate in Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Energy Density Physics

The High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) Division at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center has an opening for a Postdoctoral Associate in the areas of HEDP and Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) physics. The successful candidate will participate in research involving collaborations with several Universities around the world and the National Laboratories in the United States. In addition to supporting and possibly advancing current projects, new areas of research in HEDP/ICF should also be explored by the candidate. Supporting the supervision of current students is also expected. Some travel is required.
The HEDP Division has a long history of exploring the physics of HEDP and ICF physics using experimental and theoretical methods. Experiments are currently being performed at the OMEGA laser at University of Rochester, the NIF laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Z-machine at Sandia National Laboratory using a suite of nuclear and x-ray diagnostics developed and implemented by MIT and its collaborators. These diagnostics are used to probe spatial and temporal variations in an ICF implosion through spectral, temporal, and imaging measurements of fusion products and x-rays. These measurements are being used to study a wide variety of physics processes and issues such as implosion dynamics and performance, the relationship of implosion symmetry to laser drive symmetry, the relative timing of the shock and compression phase, charged-particle transport and heating, ion-ion and ion-electron relaxation physics, kinetic and multi-ion effects and their possible impact on ignition designs, and the accuracy of various hydrodynamic and ion-kinetic simulations. Other HEDP experimental work at OMEGA and NIF involves nuclear astrophysics, magnetic reconnection, plasma jets, and hydrodynamic instabilities in plasmas. Theoretical work is also being conducted in the area of slowing down and transport of ions and electrons in high-energy-density plasmas. In addition, an important goal of the Division is to educate and train young students and scientists; at present, the Division has ten graduate students and one postdoc. For more information about the HEDP Division, see https://www-internal.psfc.mit.edu/research/hedp/index.html
QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. and preferentially a strong experimental background in the area of HEDP, ICF, plasma physics, laboratory-astrophysics or atomic physics. Computational skills are essential. A strong desire to identify new areas of research and tackle a broad range of issues related to the physics of matter in the ICF and HEDP regime is highly desirable. In addition, the candidate must enjoy working in a team environment with staff and students from MIT, other Universities, National Laboratories, and able to communicate effectively.
A postdoctoral appointment will be for two years with the possibility of renewal based upon satisfactory job performance. The position will remain open until a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired. MIT is an equal opportunity employer. It welcomes applications from women and members of minority groups, as well as from others who would bring additional dimensions to the university's research. Candidates interested in this position should send 1) a cover letter, 2) a CV with a complete list of publications, and 3) a list with the names and contact information of three references to Dr. Johan Frenje (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Interested candidates may apply on-line at https://hr.mit.edu/careers. Please reference job number 20174

Spring 2021

Cornell University

Senior Faculty Position in Plasma Science and Engineering

The College of Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca Campus, invites applications for a tenured
professor and the Director of the Laboratory of Plasma Studies (LPS) from outstanding
established plasma and fusion research scientists and engineers. The LPS is known
internationally for its world-class High Energy Density Laboratory Plasma (HEDLP) research and
has been the home of a research Center of Excellence sponsored by the National Nuclear
Security Administration in this field of research for nearly 20 years. The Cornell College of
Engineering is a premier institution of applied science and technology research and education,
including in several areas of energy related research and development. The successful applicant
is expected to be a leader in plasma science and/or fusion engineering and to have aspirations
to expand Cornell’s footprint in fusion-related plasma science, engineering and technology
research. In addition to all LPS research facilities, the successful candidate can expect to
benefit from the use of such Cornell research facilities as CHESS (Cornell High Energy
Synchrotron Source) CCMR (Cornell Center for Materials Research) and CNF (Cornell
Nanofabrication Facility) as well as from collaboration with many faculty experts in such areas
as Advanced Manufacturing (“3D Printing”) and advanced electromagnetics (metamaterials).
The successful candidate can expect a competitive level of support for the start-up of
broadened HEDLP and/or fusion technology research programs. For additional information
about the position, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. and several years of experience as an HEDLP or
fusion plasma research project leader. A candidate with an established record of raising funds
for such research is of special interest to us. Experimentalists, theorists and computationalists
are all welcome to apply. A broad background is desirable, including experience with
diagnostics for pulsed plasmas, plasma theory, the tools of data analysis, and computer
simulation codes that can be used to help design and understand experiments. Doctorates can
be in electrical engineering, physics, applied physics, materials science and engineering,
mechanical engineering, astrophysical sciences or another technical field that is consistent with
a tenured appointment in a Cornell College of Engineering department. There is an expectation
that the successful applicant will be willing and able to teach courses in the College and will
have demonstrated promise for excellence in this skill. Salary and rank will be commensurate
with qualifications and experience.
The College of Engineering is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute,
through their research, teaching and/or service, to the diversity of the academic community
and to creating a climate that attracts students of all races, genders and nationalities. Diversity
and inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage and we especially encourage
applications by members of underrepresented groups in science and engineering. We are a
recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with
Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native
Americans living on or near Indian Reservations.
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a research statement, a leadership vision
statement for broadening Cornell Engineering’s footprint in fusion science and engineering, a
teaching statement, three recent publications, complete contact information for at least 3
references, and a Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Applications must be submitted
online at https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/18271. Review of applications will begin in
April 2021, and applications received by the end of May 2021 will receive full consideration.
However, applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. For additional
information about the application process, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Information on the LPS can be found here: https://www.lps.cornell.edu/
Cornell University seeks to meet the needs of dual career couples, has a Dual Career program,
and is a member of the Upstate New York Higher Education Recruitment Consortium to assist
with dual career searches.
Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. There is a
wide array of fringe benefits, programs and services to help advance academic careers as well
as to enhance the quality of all employees’ personal lives, including employee wellness,
childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave and flexible work options. Our inclusive
community of scholars, students and staff impart a sense of larger purpose and contribute
creative ideas to further the university’s missions of teaching, discovery and engagement.
While Cornell’s main campus in Ithaca, NY will be the location of the position discussed in this
ad, Cornell’s Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City, and the Weill Medical Colleges
in Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, serve to broaden the reach of Cornell far beyond Upstate NY.

2020 DPP symposium schedule

November 8 2020


6:00    Dr. Njema Frazier (video)

NNSA perspective on HEDP

6:20    Dr. Jim Van Dam (pdf and video)

OFES perspective on HEDP

6:40    Owen Mannion (pdf and video)

Applications of Neutron Spectroscopy in High-Energy-Density Science

Laboratory for Laser Energetics, U. of Rochester

In recent decades, many advancements in understanding the extreme high-energy-density (HED) plasma conditions [i.e., pressure >1 Mbar] created in the laboratory on the picosecond to nanosecond time scale were due to experimental insights realized with advanced diagnostics and experimental techniques. Innovations in x-ray, nuclear, particle, and gamma-ray diagnostic development are crucial for understanding HED plasmas. Neutron diagnostics are complementary to photon and charged-particle based diagnostics since neutrons can penetrate deep into HED plasma. In this talk, the neutron detectors and spectroscopic techniques that are currently being used at the Omega Laser Facility to study HED plasma science will be discussed. In particular, it will be shown how the fusion neutron energy spectrum emitted from a hot (>1-keV), dense (>10-g/cm3) plasma can be used to determine the velocity and ion temperature of the plasma, which are key parameters for the inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research field. Additionally, the spectral shape of neutron backscatter edges will be discussed and shown to provide insights into HED plasmas having temperatures above 100 eV, density above 100 g/cm3, and flow velocity above 105 cm/s. Extending the neutron spectroscopic techniques developed for the ICF research field to the broader field of HED physics research will be highlighted. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Award Number DE-NA0003856.

 7:05    Dr. Arianna Gleason (pdf and video)

New Light on the Frontier Matter in Extreme Conditions

SLAC/Stanford University

The study of matter under extreme conditions is a highly interdisciplinary subject with broad applications to materials science, plasma physics, geophysics and astrophysics. Understanding the processes which dictate physical properties in warm dense plasmas and condensed matter, requires studies at the relevant length-scales (e.g., interatomic spacing) and time-scales (e.g., phonon period). Experiments performed at XFEL lightsources across the world, combined with dynamic compression, provide ever-improving spatial- and temporal-fidelity to push the frontier. This talk will cover a very broad range of conditions, intended to present an overview of important recent developments in how we generate extreme environments and then how we characterize and probe matter at extremes conditions– providing an atom-eye view of transformations and the fundamental physics dictating materials properties. Examples of case-studies closely related to Earth and planetary science relevant materials will be discussed.

 7:30 Prof. Alexey Arefiev (pdf and video)

Unlocking new physics regimes with high-power high-intensity lasers

UC San Diego

Astrophysical environments are known for extreme and exotic physics regimes -- whether it is the creation of matter and antimatter from light alone in a pulsar's magnetosphere, or the generation of extreme magnetic fields on a surface of a neutron star that exceed anything achievable with magnets by many orders of magnitude. High-power high-intensity multi-beam laser systems that are becoming operational around the world will provide us with unique experimental tools to probe some of these regimes. This talk will review several phenomena that can be studied with experimentally achievable laser intensities at multi-PW laser facilities. Some of these include generation of MT magnetic fields, emission of dense gamma-ray beams, and electron-positron pair creation from light alone.

 7:55 Dr. Stephanie Hansen (pdf and video)

Spectroscopy: from Atoms to Astrophysics

Sandia National Laboratories

Spectroscopy is a measurement technique that separates photons according to their energy, which can reveal the electronic structure of atoms and ions. Historically, spectroscopy played a key role in the development of quantum mechanics. Today, we use established atomic theory to help interpret signals from plasma sources that are far away (e.g. stars and accretion disks) or small and short-lived (e.g. inertial confinement fusion experiments), where spectroscopy can tell us about their composition, conditions, and relative motion. This talk will touch on several such applications, as well as new frontiers for atomic theory that are enabled by high-energy density experiments. Sandia National Laboratories is managed and operated by NTESS under DOE NNSA contract DE-NA0003525. This work was supported by the Sandia LDRD program and the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science Early Career Research Program, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences under Grant No. FWP-14-017426

 8:20 Dr. Luis Chacón (pdf and video)

Recent progress and future directions in kinetic modeling of ICF implosions

 Los Alamos National Laboratory

The difficulty of rad-hydro simulations in capturing many experimental observables, including integrated metrics such as yield and bang time in many paradigmatic ICF capsule implosions has prompted the community to look into broader, higher fidelity physical models for such systems (e.g., the Vlasov-Fokker-Planck equation) [1]. However, these improved models are not incremental in sophistication, but disruptive, becoming higher dimensional (due to the need to describe phase space), strongly nonlinear, nonlocally coupled, and demanding entirely new numerical strategies to solving them on a computer. This numerical barrier has made their development and deployment for system-scale simulations of ICF implosions and other HED experiments very challenging, with only a few such tools currently available in the community. In this presentation, I will describe our progress in developing practical, efficient, and accurate kinetic simulation tools [2] and their application to multispecies plasma shocks [3] and ICF implosions [4]. I will also discuss recently started efforts at LANL to develop a kinetic simulation capability for hohlraum environments in multiple dimensions.

1. Rinderknecht et al., PPCF, 60 (6) 2018
2. Taitano et al., CPC 258 (2021); JCP 365 (2018); JCP 318 (2016); JCP 297 (2015)
3. Keenan et al., PoP 25 032103 (2018); Keenan et al., PRE 96 (2017)
4. Keenan et al., PoP 27 (2020); Taitano et al, PoP 25 056310 (2018)

 8:45    Adjourn



2020 HEDSA General Meeting 

November 11 2020


12:30 Prof. Pierre Gourdain
University of Rochester

12:35 Dr. Slava Lukin
HEDP programs at NSF (pdf and video)

12:50 Dr. Kramer Akli
HEDP programs at OFES(pdf and video)

01:05 Ann Satsangi
Academic programs at NNSA (pdf and video)

01:20 Prof. Rip Collins
University of Rochester
An NSF Physics Frontier Center in HEDP:
Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures (pdf and video)

01:45 Prof. Pierre Gourdain
HEDSA chair
HEDSA annual report (pdf and video)

02:00 Adjourn







2021 DPP symposium schedule

November 7 2021

Romm 310-311 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA

All times are pm EST

In person or online (a zoom link will be provided just before the symposium starts)

symposium 2021

7:00    Dr. Jim Van Dam

DOE Office of Science perspective on HEDP

7:20    Dr. Slava Lukin (on behalf of Dr. Denise Caldwell)

NSF perspective on HEDP

7:40 Ann Satsangi

NNSA perspective on HEDP

8:00    Jessica Pilgram

(Sponsored by the HEDSA student chapter)

High Repetition Rate Investigation of the Biermann Battery Effect Over Large Volumetric Regions

Phoenix Laboratory, UCLA

The Biermann Battery effect is a mechanism of spontaneous magnetic field generation in both astrophysical phenomena and laser produced plasmas (LPPs). This effect is caused by non-parallel temperature and density gradients within a plasma, represented in the magnetohydrodynamic framework by the baroclinic term in the induction equation, c/en_e  ∇ ⃑T_e× ∇ ⃑n_e. In this talk we present a high repetition rate laboratory astrophysics experiment examining the spatial structure and evolution of Biermann generated magnetic fields in LPPs. Our measurements show azimuthally symmetric magnetic fields with peak values of 60 G in our closest measurements, 0.7 cm from the target surface. Optical Thomson scattering measurements give values for the electron temperature and density of the LPP on axis, of T_e=10±2 eV, and n_e=(5.55±1)×10^16  cm^(-3), respectively. The velocity of the LPP's front has been estimated to be 330 km/s by measuring the time and position of the maximum magnetic fields measured. The expansion rate of the magnetic fields, and current density within the system are also mapped and examined.

 8:25    Dr. Derek Schaeffer

Cosmic Shockwaves in the Lab

Princeton University

Magnetized collisionless shocks are ubiquitous in space and astrophysical plasmas, from Earth’s bow shock to extreme environments such as supernova remnants and black hole jets.  The highly non-linear kinetic physics of these phenomena remains poorly understood, including the mechanisms by which particles are shock-accelerated to some of the highest energies observed in the cosmos.  Despite decades of spacecraft and remote sensing observations, as well as numerical simulations, many key questions remain unanswered, such as what mechanisms underlie shock-accelerated particles or how energy is partitioned across a shock.  Advances in high-powered lasers, strong external magnetic fields, and plasma diagnostics have now enabled collisionless shocks to be created and studied in the laboratory, while still retaining key dimensionless parameters similar to space and astrophysical systems.  This talk will overview recent experiments on magnetized collisionless shocks, including the different types of shocks that can be created, how these shocks are created and diagnosed, what we can learn from laboratory shocks, and the future of collisionless shock experiments.

 8:50 Dr. Annie Kritcher

Results from the HYBRID-E DT experiment N210808 with > 1.3 MJ yield


The inertial fusion community have been working towards ignition for decades, since the idea of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) was first proposed by Nuckolls, et al., in 1972 [1].  On August 8, 2021, ignition was finally demonstrated in the laboratory on the National Ignition Facility in Northern California.  The experiment, N210808, produced a fusion yield of 1.35 MJ from 1.9 MJ of laser energy and appears to have crossed the tipping-point of thermodynamic instability according to several ignition metrics.  This talk discusses how the Hybrid strategy [2], a strategy for increasing hot-spot energy while maintaining high hot-spot pressures, was implemented to achieve record ICF performance. A key focus of the talk will be how we utilized increased capsule scale and smaller case-to-capsule ratio in the target design, while also controlling symmetry using a data-based understanding of hohlraum physics [3] and cross-beam energy transfer [4] previously demonstrated in low gas-fill hohlraums. This talk will also detail the subtle importance of “coast-time” (the time duration between the stagnation phase of the implosion and peak ablation pressure) in the design of Hybrid-E.  Data and models have shown that low coast-time is essential for high hot-spot stagnation pressure [5] and the physics of why this is the case will also be mentioned.  In particular, we’ll discuss how a small reduction in coast-time and improvements in target quality were sufficient to make rapid progress from a burning plasma [6,7] to ignition, highlighting the threshold nature of ignition.

[1] J. Nuckolls, et al., Nature, 239, (1972)
[2] O.A. Hurricane, et al., PPCF 61, 014033 (2019); Op Cit., Phys. Plasmas, 26, 052704 (2019)
[3] D.A. Callahan, et al., Phys. Plasmas, 056305 (2018)
[4] A.L. Kritcher, et al., Phys. Rev. E, 98, 053206 (2018)
[5] O.A. Hurricane, et al., Phys. Plasmas, 24, 092706 (2017)
[6] A.B. Zylstra, O.A. Hurricane, et al., in preparation (2021)
[7] A.L. Kritcher, C.V. Young, and H.F. Robey, et al., in preparation (2021)

 9:15 Dr. Varchas Gopalaswamy

Advancing OMEGA ICF implosions to hydro-equivalent ignition


Maximizing the performance of ICF experiments is necessary to achieve high yield thermonuclear ignition, and realize the goal of harnessing nuclear fusion for energy generation. The efficient design of high performance has long been obstructed by the lack of accurate predictive models, due in large part to the complex, nonlinear, multi-scale physics involved in a laser fusion experiment. A method used to design, quantitatively predict, and interpret the results of implosions of cryogenic deuterium–tritium lined spherical targets on the  OMEGA laser system is presented. This method has increased OMEGA yields by an order of magnitude. When scaled to the laser energies of the National Ignition Facility, these targets are predicted to produce a fusion energy output of over a megajoule.

9:40   Adjourn



2021 HEDSA General Meeting 

November 10 2021

Romm 310-311 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA

All times are pm EST

In person or online (a zoom link will be provided just before the symposium starts)

 General Meeting 2021



1:00    Dr. Kramer Akli

DOE Office of Science perspective on HEDP

1:15    Dr. Slava Lukin

NSF perspective on HEDP

1:30    Ann Satsangi

NNSA perspective on HEDP

 1:45    Dr. Heath LeFevre

President, Student Chapter