Experimental and computational techniques in support of commercial and scientific uses of plasmas.
Plasma, the fourth state of matter, is common in both nature (e.g., lightning, the earth's ionosphere, stellar objects) and in modern technology (e.g., semiconductor processing, lighting, plasma televisions, medical equipment). Yet despite this ubiquity, the plasma state is still a wide open frontier, which we are struggling to understand and control. Plasmas are richly complex, encompassing an incredible diversity of linear and non-linear phenomena including atomic collisions, electromagnetic interactions, fluid dynamics, collective excitations, thermodynamics, chemical reactions, and radiation transport. This complexity presents a scientific and engineering challenge, but it also opens opportunities to achieve properties and performance that may not be achieved with other states of matter. Our group is actively involved in development of new experimental and theoretical techniques for spectroscopic diagnostics of various plasmas, from magnetic fusion to astrophysics to dense industrial plasmas.