Dr. Paul Cassak
Assistant Professor of Physics
Dr. Cassak received a Ph.D. in theoretical and computational plasma physics from the University of Maryland in 2006. He was a postdoc at University of Delaware in 2007-8. His research focuses on magnetic reconnection and its applications using analytical techniques, large scale numerical simulations, and observational data as appropriate. Applications of reconnection are many; solar eruptions (flares and CMEs) and similar eruptions on other sun-like stars, substorms and solar wind-magnetospheric coupling in the geomagnetic magnetic field (relevant to the field of space weather), disruptive events in fusion plasmas, and various astrophysical settings
Dr. Vladimir Demidov
Research Professor of Physics
Dr. Demidov received a Ph. D. in physics from St. Petersburg St University, Russia in 1981. He has many years of diverse experience in physics research and education. He has performed investigations of physics and chemistry of plasmas, plasma electronic devices, optics and spectroscopy, atomic and molecular physics, and lasers. He also has experience teaching in general and theoretical physics, different aspects of plasma physics, atomic and molecular physics, optics, mathematics, and computer algebra systems.
Dr. Amy Keesee
Research Assistant Professor
Dr. Keesee received her Ph.D. in plasma physics from West Virginia Unviersity and her areas of expertise include laser-induced-fluorescence diagnosis of laboratory plasmas, particularly neutral atom components, plasma spectroscopy, collisional radiative modeling, and energetic neutral atom imaging of the Earth's magnetosphere. Currently Dr. Keesee leads the WVU plasma group's research program in the analysis of energetic neutral atom images from the TWINS spacecraft
Dr. Mark E. Koepke
Robert C. Byrd Professor of Physics
Dr. Koepke received a Ph.D. in experimental plasma physics from the University of Maryland in 1984 for the experimental verification of bounce-resonance damping and work on the drift-cyclotron loss-cone instability. He then moved to the University of Washington where he experimentally studied the equilibria and stability of high-beta stellarator configurations. Upon his arrival in 1987 at West Virginia University, he developed a research program and a plasma physics curriculum for training students in the subject of plasma waves and instabilities. Since then, Dr. Koepke has built two Q machines, on which he launched a space-plasma-related research theme and assembled a laser-induced fluorescence system for diagnosing plasmas. He and his group experimentally proved the existence of various velocity-shear driven waves, experimentally verified D. Knudsen's stationary inertialAlfven waves, and discovered the phenomenon of dynamics modulation. He also works on (1) temporal, spatial, and spatiotemporal nonlinear driven-oscillator phenomena and dynamical complexity, (2) cyclotron, whistler-mode, and Alfven waves., and (3) dust-grain infiltrated plasmas. In addition to this, he teaches courses in introductory physics in addition to the courses in plasma physics
Dr. Earl Scime
Eberly Distinguished Professor and Chair of Physics
Dr. Scime is experienced in both laboratory and space plasmas. He has investigated high frequency turbulence and ion-cyclotron instabilities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and whistler heat flux driven instabilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a member of the Ulysses spacecraft plasma team. Since 1995 he has been faculty member of physics at West Virginia University and his ongoing research activities include: the development of novel techniques for imaging low energy neutrals from space and laboratory plasmas, space plasma instrument design, the development of algorithms to correct for spacecraft charging effects on the Ulysses spacecraft, and studies of radial evolution of the solar wind electron heat flux. At West Virginia University he has constructed a large steady-state, high beta laboratory plasma source and a space-simulation chamber devices, the primary focus of his research program.
Dr. Dimitris Vassiliadis
Research Associate Professor of Physics
Dr. Vassiliadis received a Ph.D. in space plasma physics from the University of Maryland. His research interests in space science are focused in magnetospheric physics and more specifically in Earth's radiation belts as explored by spacecraft missions such as NASA's POLAR and SAMPEX. The radiation belts are a fascinating part of geospace whose study languished in the 70s and 80s only to come to the forefront since the mid-1990s. NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes will focus exclusively on the radiation belt dynamics. Currently he is working on the physics of the belts' responses to geoeffective interplanetary structures such as coronal mass ejections and high-speed streams. The new STEREO observations will be crucial in understanding how these powerful complex structures arise at the solar surface and how they propagate to Earth's orbit and interact with our planet.