Zhihong Lin


Professor of Physics and Astronomy

University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Tel: 949-824-6911; Email: zhihongl@uci.edu



Google Scholars

Open Position



I study the physics of high temperature plasma, the fourth state of matter, which constitutes 99% of the visible universe. Plasma physics is the scientific foundation for fusion energy, which powers the stars such as the Sun and promises for a clean and unlimited energy source for the humanity. I use advanced simulations on the world’s fastest supercomputers to study turbulent transport, which is one of the most important scientific challenges in burning plasma experiment ITER, the crucial next step in the quest for the fusion energy and the biggest international science collaboration involving US, EU, China, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. International collaboration plays a vital role in fusion simulations in support of ITER.


Because of the cross-disciplinary nature, fusion simulations in US have consolidated into several multi-institutional projects in the US Department of Energy (DOE) Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) initiative. I lead the Center for Integrated Simulation of Energetic Particles (ISEP), a consortium of the UCI, General Atomics, national laboratories (PPPL, ORNL, LLNL, LBNL), Princeton University, and UCSD. The confinement of energetic particles is a critical issue for ITER burning plasmas because the ignition relies on the self-heating by energetic fusion products (α-particles). Our simulations use the fastest supercomputers in the US through competitive award for the computer time by the DOE Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program.


Our flagship fusion code GTC has been developed jointly by a collaborative team including my group at UCI and collaborators in the ITER partnership, and extensively utilized to simulate fusion experiments including DIII-D, NSTX-U, JET, EAST, KSTAR, & HL-2A tokamaks, W7-X & LHD stellarators, and C2 field-reversed configuration. These first-principles massively parallel simulations and associated theory have led to physics discovery in turbulence self-regulation by zonal flows, zonal flow damping, neoclassical transport, transport scaling, wave-particle decorrelation, energetic particle transport, electron transport, nonlinear dynamics of Alfven eigenmodes, localization of Alfven eigenmodes, driftwave stability, transport bifurcation in fusion plasmas.                                              


Selected Recent Publications:


·       Regulation of Alfven eigenmodes by microturbulence in fusion plasmas, P. Liu, X. Wei, Z. Lin, G. Brochard, G.J. Choi, W.W. Heidbrink, J.H. Nicolau, and G. R. McKee, Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 185001 (2022).

·       Verification and validation of gyrokinetic and kinetic-MHD simulations for internal kink instability in DIII-D tokamak, G. Brochard, J. Bao, C. Liu, N. Gorelenkov, G. Choi, G. Dong, P. Liu, J. Mc.Clenaghan, J. H. Nicolau, F. Wang, W. H. Wang, X. Wei, W. L. Zhang, W. Heidbrink, J. P. Graves, Z. Lin, H. Lutjens, Nuclear Fusion 62, 036021 (2022).

·       Verification of a fully kinetic ion model for electromagnetic simulations of high-frequency waves in toroidal geometry, Y. Y. Yu, X. S. Wei, P. F. Liu, and Z. Lin, Phys. Plasmas 29, 073902 (2022).

·       Role of wave-particle resonance in turbulent transport in toroidal plasmas, G. Dong and Z. Lin, Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 64, 035005 (2022).

·       Gyro-average method for global gyrokinetic particle simulation in realistic tokamak geometry, Yihao Duan, Yong Xiao, Zhihong Lin, Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 64, 045018 (2022).

·       Deep learning based surrogate models for first-principles global simulations of fusion plasmas, G. Dong, X. Wei, J. Bao, G. Brochard, Z. Lin, W. Tang, Nuclear Fusion 61, 126061 (2021).

·       Global gyrokinetic simulation with kinetic electron for collisionless damping of zonal flow in stellarator, Javier H. Nicolau, Gyungjin Choi, Jingyuan Fu, Pengfei Liu, Xishuo Wei, and Zhihong Lin, Nuclear Fusion 61, 126041 (2021).

·       Effects of zonal flows on ion temperature gradient instability in the scrape-off layer of a field-reversed configuration, X.S. Wei, W.H. Wang, Z. Lin, G.J. Choi, S. Dettrick, C. Lau, P.F. Liu, and T. Tajima, Nuclear Fusion 61, 126039 (2021).

·       Microturbulence in edge of a tokamak plasma with medium density and steep temperature gradient, Jingchun Li, Z. Lin, Jiaqi Dong, Huasheng Xie and Songfen Liu, Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 63, 125005 (2021).

·       Global gyrokinetic simulation of neoclassical ambipolar electric field and its effects on microturbulence in W7-X stellarator, J. Y. Fu, J. H. Nicolau, P. F. Liu, X. S. Wei, Y. Xiao, and Z. Lin, Phys. Plasmas 28, 062309 (2021).

·       Gyrokinetic simulation of low-frequency Alfvénic modes in DIII-D tokamak, G. J. Choi, P. Liu, X. S. Wei, J. H. Nicolau, G. Dong, W. L. Zhang, Z. Lin, W. W. Heidbrink and T.S. Hahm, Nuclear Fusion 61,  066007 (2021).

·       Effects of equilibrium radial electric field on ion temperature gradient instability in the scrape-off layer of a field-reversed configuration, W. H. Wang, J. Bao, X. S. Wei, Z. Lin, G. J. Choi, S. Dettrick, A. Kuley, C. Lau, P. F. Liu, and T. Tajima, Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 63, 065001 (2021).

·       Gyrokinetic simulations of double tearing modes in toroidal plasma, Y. Yao, Zhihong Lin, J.Q. Dong, P. Shi, S.F. Liu, and Jingchun Li, Physics Letters A 417, 127681 (2021).

·       Effects of resonant magnetic perturbations on radial electric fields in DIII-D tokamak, Jingyuan FU, Pengfei LIU, Xishuo WEI, Zhihong LIN, Nathaniel Mandrachia FERRAR, and Raffi NAZIKIAN, Plasma Sci. Technol. 23, 105104 (2021).

·       Linear simulation of kinetic electromagnetic instabilities in a tokamak plasma with weak magnetic shear, Yunchuan Zhao, Jiaqi Wang, Dongjian Liu, Wei Chen, Ge Dong, and Zhihong Lin, Phys. Plasmas 28, 012107 (2021).

·       Linear gyrokinetic simulations of reversed shear Alfvén eigenmodes and ion temperature gradient modes in DIII-D tokamak, Hongyu Wang, Pengfei Liu, Zhihong Lin, and Wenlu Zhang, Plasma Sci. Technol. 23, 015101 (2021).