DPP 2023 Mini-Conference Descriptions

65th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics 

October 30-November 3, 2023 • Denver, Colorado

Attendees of any APS in-person or virtual events are expected to meet standards of professional conduct as described in the APS Code of Conduct. Violations of these standards may disqualify people from future participation.

DPP 2023 Mini-Conference Descriptions 

Gatekeeper Workshop 2: Eliminating barriers to entry for plasma physics

Category 11.01

Orgainzers: Eli Parke, TAE Technologies, Inc., et al.

Due to the increased necessity of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) to reach milestones in our fields, this mini-conference will follow up on the previous Gatekeeper Mini-Conference from the 2021 DPP Annual Meeting with a focus on those responsible for hiring into the workforce and admissions into graduate programs. The session will include talks on Evidence Based Practices (EBPs), talks by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and member breakout discussions. Topics will include:

  • Practices for making graduate admissions and advancement equitable, such as eliminating the GRE requirement, incorporating non-cognitive variables in the admission process, and eliminating traditional qualifying examinations.
  • Addressing the impact of bias in the hiring process and how to implement non-cognitive variables and other Evidence Based Practices into hiring processes.

In addition to the SME talks, the session will also include short out-briefs (5-minute talks) for which abstracts may be submitted on work being done at member institutions on the specific topics listed above. Submitters are strongly encouraged to consider Evidence Based Practices when writing their abstracts.

The Stellarator Path to a Fusion Pilot Plant—a Public & Private Endeavor

Category 11.02

Organizers: Diane Demers, Xantho Technologies

Important plasma physics advances and key technological advancements are opening the way toward a Stellarator Fusion Pilot Plant (FPP). Public funding is continuing to support science, and a new influx of private funding is enabling stellarator design efforts. This mini-conference will host speakers and panelists from the public and private sectors. It will provide a forum to discuss scientific gaps and solutions, technological challenges and activities, and an evolving workspace. Theory, design optimization, and experiment issues that are independent of stellarator configuration will be considered. This conference aims to nurture collaboration between the public and private sectors and advance the goal of rapidly establishing the foundation for stellarator FPPs.

Interrelationship between experiments in Laboratory and Space Plasmas (ELASP)

Category 11.03

Organizer: Mark Koepke, West Virginia University

Many advances in understanding space plasma phenomena are being linked to insight derived from theoretical modeling and/or laboratory experiments. Advances for which the interrelationship between space-plasma observers, modelers, and laboratory experimentalists contribute, or could contribute, to interpreting the operating mechanisms and explaining the physics phenomena will be the focus of this mini-conference. How the interpretation of the space plasma data is being influenced by one or more laboratory experiments will be a highlight of at least one featured presentation. The space physics motivation of laboratory investigations and the scaling of laboratory plasma parameters to space plasma conditions will be a major theme. Examples demonstrating how lab experiments develop physical insight, validate or invalidate theoretical models, discover unexpected behavior, establish observational signatures, and pioneer diagnostic methods for the space community will illustrate the practical side of the interrelationship between subfields. A primary objective of this mini-conference is to articulate the overlapping scientific issues that are addressable by mutual leverage, cooperation, and collaboration. A secondary objective is to convey the wide range of laboratory and space plasma experiments involved in this interdisciplinary alliance. The degree to which interrelated experiments can be compared is increasing, thanks to improved diagnostic techniques in space and closer attention to matching dimensionless space parameters in the laboratory. 

Recent advances in magnetized turbulence in heliophysical, astrophysical, and laboratory plamas

Category 11.04

Organizers: Lingling Zhao, University of Alabama in Huntsville, et al.

Magnetized turbulence is a complex phenomenon that occurs in a variety of plasma environments, from the Sun's corona to interstellar space to laboratory experiments. Understanding the nature of turbulence is important for many areas of solar, space, and astrophysics, as well as for laboratory plasmas and controlled fusion, as it is responsible for the transport of energy, momentum, and particles in these environments. Overall, the study of magnetized turbulence in solar, space, astrophysical, and laboratory plasmas is a rapidly evolving field, with new observations, simulations, and experiments providing insights into the complex dynamics of these environments. Some specific topics to be covered in this mini-conference are listed below. (1) Role of structures and waves in incompressible and compressible heliophysical turbulence: observational constraints and models of turbulence describing structures and waves; (2) Role of turbulence in particle energization and transport in solar and astrophysical plasmas; (3) Interaction of turbulence with shear flows and boundaries, e.g., shocks and tangential discontinuities; transport barriers in fusion plasmas; planetary magnetopause. We welcome research contributions on magnetized turbulence, including but not limited to its properties in space and laboratory plasmas and its role in plasma dynamics and particle transport.

Plasma and quantum information sciences

Category: 11.05

Organizers: Yuan Shi, Lawrence Livermore National Lab/University of Colorado Boulder, et al.

Quantum Information Science (QIS) is a rapidly developing field that may impact plasma physics through enhanced sensing and computing capabilities. Conversely, control techniques and novel materials enabled by plasma physics may contribute to QIS advancements. The objective is to provide a forum to share recent progress, discuss current challenges, and brainstorm future opportunities. There will be four components of (1) oral contributed presentations, (2) panel discussions, (3) a poster session, (4) a special collection of peer-reviewed articles in JPP.

Collisionless and weakly collisional shocks in laboratory and space plasmas

Category: 11.06

Organizers: Nikolai Pogorelov, University of Alabama in Huntsville, et al.

The organizers call for papers addressing the wealth of in situ measurements of collisionless and weakly collisional shocks in nature and laboratory. This mini-conference will also address the physical mechanisms that govern the behavior charged particles crossing such shocks.

Collisionless shocks (CS) are one of the most fundamental, strongly nonlinear phenomena in plasmas. They are ubiquitous in many space physics, astrophysics, and laboratory settings. CS waves are important mechanisms for converting dynamic pressure of a supersonic flow into thermal energy and affect the distributions of particles and field across the universe. One of the central theoretical issues in modern plasma physics is the quantitative prediction of the downstream plasma state for given upstream parameters. Of special interest are the processes of ion isotropization behind CS.

Despite more than six decades of CS research, the present status of this problem still requires further investigation, especially in the presence of non-thermal ions, and disparate time and length scales for electrons and ions. While the majority of CS observed in situ are in the heliosphere, significant progress has been achieved in creating stable magnetized shocks in laboratory. The laboratory shock experimental basis is developing rapidly and allows high resolution measurements at shock fronts. CS are also observed remotely in many astrophysical objects. CS are characterized by ion reflection and back streaming, which both are accompanied by particle heating and acceleration. Shocks are also frequently associated with plasma oscillations and radio emissions. Of interest are also weakly collisional shocks with the ion gyration radius being much smaller than the parallel mean free path.