Zhihong Lin


Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of California, Irvine, CA 92697

Email: zhihongl@uci.edu; Tel: (949) 287-3922


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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.


The confinement of energetic particles is a critical issue for the ITER and fusion pilot plant (FPP) because the ignition in the burning plasmas relies on the self-heating by energetic fusion products (α-particles). Our simulations of energetic particle confinement for the performance assessment and optimization of the ITER and FPP burning plasmas are supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) initiative and 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, & ADITYA-U 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:


·        Saturation of fishbone instability by self-generated zonal flows in tokamak plasmas, G. Brochard, C. Liu, X. Wei, W. Heidbrink, Z. Lin, N. Gorelenkov, J. Bao, A. R. Polevoi, M. Schneider, S. H. Kim, S. D. Pinches, P. Liu, J. H. Nicolau, and H. Lutjens, Phys. Rev. Lett. 132, 075101 (2024).

·        Cross-scale Interaction between Microturbulence and Meso-scale Reversed Shear Alfvén Eigenmodes in DIII-D Plasmas, P. Liu, X. Wei, Z. Lin, W. W Heidbrink, G. Brochard, G. J. Choi, J. H. Nicolau, and W. Zhang, Nuclear Fusion 64, 076007 (2024).

·        Global gyrokinetic simulations of electrostatic microturbulent transport in LHD stellarator with boron impurity, Tajinder Singh, Javier H. Nicolau, Federico Nespoli, Gen Motojima, Zhihong Lin, Abhijit Sen, Sarveshwar Sharma, and Animesh Kuley, Nuclear Fusion 64, 016007 (2024).

·        Reconstruction of tokamak plasma safety factor profile using deep learning, Xishuo Wei, Shuying Sun, William Tang, Zhihong Lin, Hongfei Du, Ge Dong, Nuclear Fusion 63, 086020 (2023).

·        A new paradigm for fast and repetitive chirping of Alfvén eigenmodes, Junyi Cheng, Wenlu Zhang, Zhihong Lin, Jian Bao, Chao Dong, Jintao Cao, and Ding Li, Nuclear Fusion 63, 124004 (2023).

·        Verification of gyrokinetic particle simulations of neoclassical tearing modes in fusion plasmas, Kaijie Wang, Shuying Sun, Wenlu Zhang, Zhihong Lin, Xishuo Wei, Pengfei Liu, Hongying Feng, Xiaogang Wang, and Ding Li, Plasma Phys. Contr. Fusion 65, 105005 (2023).

·        Global gyrokinetic simulations of the impact of magnetic island on ion temperature gradient driven turbulence, J. C. Li, J. Q. Xu, Y. R. Qu, Z. Lin, J. Q. Dong, X. D. Peng, J. Q. Li, Nuclear Fusion 63, 096005 (2023).

·        Nonlinear Gyrokinetic Simulations of Reversed Shear Alfven Eigenmodes in DIII-D Tokamak, P. Liu, X. Wei, Z. Lin, G. Brochard, G. J. Choi, and J. H. Nicolau, Reviews of Modern Plasma Physics 7, 15 (2023).

·        Gyrokinetic simulations of electrostatic microturbulence in ADITYA-U tokamak, Tajinder Singh, Deepti Sharma, Tanmay Macwan, Sarveshwar Sharma, Joydeep Ghosh, Abhijit Sen, Zhihong Lin, Animesh Kuley, Nuclear Fusion 63, 056008 (2023).

·        Electrostatic turbulence in EAST plasmas with internal transport barrier, Yuehao Ma, Bin Zhang, Jian Bao, Z. Lin, Wenlu Zhang, Huishan Cai, and Ding Li, Nuclear Fusion 63, 056014 (2023).

·        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).