Zhihong Lin


Professor of Physics and Astronomy

University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Tel: 949-824-2717; Email: zhihongl@uci.edu



Google Scholars

Postdoc Position



I study the physics of high temperature plasma, the fourth state of matter, which constitutes 99 percent of the visible universe. Plasma physics is the scientific foundation for fusion energy, which powers the stars such as the Sun and promises for an environmentally 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 night 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 University of California, Irvine (UCI), General Atomics (GA), and national laboratories PPPL, ORNL, LLNL, LBNL, Princeton University (PU), 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).


I lead a DOE INCITE project, which has been awarded for 2% of the computing time on the Summit computer at ORNL, which is the world’s fastest supercomputer with a speed of 200PF (i.e., performing 2x1017 calculations for second). Our flagship fusion code GTC has been optimized on the GPU-based Summit by the Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR), a consortium of UCI, PU, ORNL, and hardware vendors NVDIA and IBM.


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, JET, EAST, KSTAR, & HL-2A tokamaks, W7-X & LHD stellarators, and C2-W 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:


·         Verification and validation of integrated simulation of energetic particles in fusion plasmas, S. Taimourzadeh, E. M. Bass, Y. Chen, C. Collins, N. N. Gorelenkov, A. Konies, Z. X. Lu, D. A. Spong, Y. Todo, M. E. Austin, J. Bao, A. Biancalani, M. Borchardt, A. Bottino, W. W. Heidbrink, Z. Lin, R. Kleiber, A. Mishchenko, L. Shi, J. Varela, R. E. Waltz, G. Yu, W. L. Zhang, and Y. Zhu, Nuclear Fusion 59, 066006 (2019).

·         Kinetic particle simulations in a global toroidal geometry, S. De, T. Singh, A. Kuley, J. Bao, Z. Lin, G. Y. Sun, S. Sharma, and A. Sen, Phys. Plasmas 26, 082507 (2019).

·         Gyrokinetic simulations of nonlinear interactions between magnetic islands and microturbulence, Kaisheng Fang, Jian Bao, and Zhihong Lin, Plasma Sci. Technol. 21, 115102 (2019).

·         Global gyrokinetic simulation of microturbulence with kinetic electrons in the presence of magnetic island in tokamak, K. S. Fang and Z. Lin, Phys. Plasmas 26, 052510 (2019).

·         Global simulation of ion temperature gradient instabilities in a field-reversed configuration, J. Bao, C. K. Lau, Z. Lin, H. Y. Wang, D. P. Fulton, S. Dettrick, and T. Tajima, Phys. Plasmas 26, 042506 (2019).

·         Cross-separatrix simulations of turbulent transport in the field-reversed configuration, C. K. Lau, D. P. Fulton, J. Bao, Z. Lin, T. Tajima, L. Schmitz, S. Dettrick, and the TAE Team, Nuclear Fusion 59, 066018 (2019).

·         Effects of RMP-Induced Changes of Radial Electric Fields on Microturbulence in DIII-D Pedestal Top, S. Taimourzadeh, L. Shi, Z. Lin, R. Nazikian, I. Holod, D. Spong, Nuclear Fusion 59, 046005 (2019).

·         Nonlinear Saturation of Kinetic Ballooning Modes by Zonal Fields in Toroidal Plasmas, G. Dong, J. Bao, A. Bhattacharjee, and Z. Lin, Phys. Plasmas 26, 010701 (2019).

·         Gyrokinetic simulations of Toroidal Alfven Eigenmodes excited by energetic ions and external antennas on the Joint European Torus, V. Aslanyan, S. Taimourzadeh, L. Shi, Z. Lin, G. Dong, P. Puglia, M. Porkolab, R. Dumont, S. E. Sharapov, J. Mailloux, M. Tsalas, M. Maslov, A. Whitehead, R. Scannell, S. Gerasimov, S. Dorling, S. Dowson, H. K. Sheikh, T. Blackman, G. Jones, A. Goodyear, K. K. Kirov, P. Blanchard, A. Fasoli, D. Testa, and JET Contributors, Nuclear Fusion 59, 026008 (2019).

·         Simulation of toroidicity-induced Alfven eigenmode excited by energetic ions in HL-2A tokamak plasmas, Hongda He, Junyi Cheng, J. Q. Dong, Wenlu Zhang, Chenxi Zhang, Jinxia Zhu, Ruirui Ma, T. Xie, G. Z. Hao, A. P. Sun, G. Y. Zheng, W. Chen and Z. Lin, Nuclear Fusion 58, 126023 (2018).

·         A conservative scheme for electromagnetic simulation of magnetized plasmas with kinetic electrons, J. Bao, Z. Lin, and Z. X. Lu, Phys. Plasmas 25, 022515 (2018).

·         Particle simulation of radio frequency waves with fully-kinetic ions and gyrokinetic electrons, Jingbo Lin, Wenlu Zhang, Pengfei Liu, Zhihong Lin, Chao Dong, Jintao Cao, and Ding Li, Nuclear Fusion 58, 016024 (2018).

·         A conservative scheme of drift kinetic electrons for gyrokinetic simulation of kinetic-MHD processes in toroidal plasmas, J. Bao, D. Liu, Z. Lin, Phys. Plasmas 24, 102516 (2017).

·         Excitation of Low Frequency Alfven Eigenmodes in Toroidal Plasmas, Yaqi Liu, Zhihong Lin, Huasen Zhang, Wenlu Zhang, Nuclear Fusion 57, 114001 (2017).

·         New Paradigm for Turbulent Transport Across a Steep Gradient in Toroidal Plasmas, H. S. Xie, Y. Xiao, and Z. Lin, Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 095001 (2017).

·         Effects of Magnetic Islands on Bootstrap Current in Toroidal Plasmas, G. Dong, Z. Lin, Nuclear Fusion 57, 036009 (2017).

·         Effects of Resonant Magnetic Perturbations on Microturbulence in DIII-D Pedestal, I. Holod, Z. Lin, S. Taimourzadeh, R. Nazikian, D. Spong, and A. Wingen, Nuclear Fusion 57, 016005 (2017).