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% 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).


I lead a DOE INCITE project, which has been awarded for 2% of the computing time on the Summit computer at ORNL, which is currently the world’s 2nd 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 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:


·        Gyrokinetic particle simulations of interactions between energetic particles and magnetic islands induced by neoclassical tearing modes, X. Tang, Z. Lin, W. W. Heidbrink, J. Bao, C. Xiao, Z. Li and J. Li, Phys. Plasmas 27, 032508 (2020).

·        GTC simulation of linear stability of tearing mode and a model magnetic island stabilization by ECCD in toroidal plasma, Jingchun Li, Chijie Xiao, Zhihong Lin, Dongjian Liu, Xiaoquan Ji, and Xiaogang Wang, Phys. Plasmas 27, 042507 (2020).

·        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).

·        Verification of an energetic-electron-driven b-induced Alfven eigenmode in the HL-2A tokamak, Yang Chen, Wenlu Zhang, Junyi Cheng, Zhihong Lin, Chao Dong, and Ding Li, Phys. Plasmas 26, 102507 (2019).

·        Verification of gyrokinetic particle simulation of current-driven instability in fusion plasmas. IV. Drift-tearing mode, Hao Shi, Wenlu Zhang, Hongying Feng, Zhihong Lin, Chao Dong, Jian Bao, and Ding Li, Phys. Plasmas 26, 092512 (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).