Earl Scime

Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics and Astronomy



Department of Physics and Astronomy

135 Willey Street, PO Box 6315

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV 26506

Office: White Hall 341

Phone: (304)293-5125

Email: escimeATwvu.edu


Research Interests: fusion energy, space plasma physics, industrial plasma physics, plasma diagnostics, neurosciences imaging, magnetic reconnection, robotics, STEM education.


Curriculum Vitae [.pdf]

Complete Publication List [.pdf]

Mountaineer Area RoboticS (MARS)




B.S., Florida State University, 1987

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1992


Course Links

Physics 314 Modern Physics

Physics 781 Principles of Plasma Physics

Physics 782 Computational Plasma

LabWindows Example Code (compressed)

MATLAB Example Code (compressed)

Physics 784 Magnetohydrodynamics


Research Group Links

Plasma Physics at WVU
WVU Plasma Reunion at 2002 APS-DPP
2001 Helicon Sources Mini-Conference Poster Session

2007 Helicon Sources Mini-Conference Poster Session



NASA interview about building NASA models with LEGOs

Science Coalition Podcast about 2034

National Youth Science Camp Fusion Talk

The primary theme of the WVU plasma physics group is space-relevant plasma physics. My group has a number of experimental laboratory, experimental space, and theoretical research projects. The core of our experimental laboratory plasma physics program is a high-density helicon plasma source coupled to a large space simulation chamber [Large Experiment on Instabilities and Anisotropies (LEIA)]. The WVU Hot hELIcon eXperiment (HELIX) source operates in a steady-state mode and is unique in that it can operate over a wide range of driving frequencies (0.3-35 MHz) and exhibits relatively high ion temperatures. The ion temperatures in argon and helium plasmas are measured with a non-invasive, laser induced fluorescence diagnostic. Current research projects include the investigation of Alfven wave reflection and nonlinear interactions in high beta plasmas, the study of spontaneously forming double layers in expanding plasmas, the study of slow waves in the edge of helicon sources, the development of new laser induced fluorescence schemes for argon and helium ions using tunable diode lasers, and the development of two-photon LIF schemes for the direct measurement of neutral hydrogen densities in fusion plasmas.

In collaboration with the Southwest Research Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Southern California, and MIT, we participated in the launch of the world's first transmission grating based neutral atom imager on the IMAGE spacecraft in March 2000. This instrument directly detected and imaged neutral atoms emitted from the Earth's magnetosphere. With a single image, a neutral-atom "camera" can provide a detailed picture of the spatial distribution of the plasma trapped in the Earth's magnetosphere. The IMAGE mission has now ended and we have moved on to the TWINS mission. TWINS consists of two similar neutral atom cameras, each on different spacecraft.