Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes

Tutorial Fellow in Physics; Professor of Physics

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I currently tutor Mathematical Methods for Physicists to first and second year physics students at University College, and I lecture on complex numbers and ordinary differential equations for the Physics Department.  My teaching on these subjects is aimed at providing all students with the mathematical fluency needed to master the more advanced topics in their physics curriculum.  I also enjoy providing interested students the opportunity to make connections with areas of active physics research.


My research is primarily aimed at understanding the often chaotic behavior of ionized gas, called plasma, in the presence of magnetic fields.  This research has applications to sustainable energy production via fusion as well as to numerous space and astrophysical systems.  The main focus of my research has been on how we can achieve reactor-level fusion energy production by reducing turbulent heat convection in magnetic confinement fusion experiments.  Additionally, I am interested in deducing how the heating generated by plasma turbulence may explain the observed structure of astrophysical accretion discs and the temperature of the solar wind.

Selected Publications

• M. Barnes, et al., Intrinsic rotation driven by non-Maxwellian equilibria in tokamak plasmas, Physical Review Letters 111, 055005 (2013)
• M. Barnes, F. I. Parra, and W. Dorland, Turbulent transport and heating of trace heavy ions in hot, magnetized plasmas, Physical Review Letters 109, 185003 (2012)
• M. Barnes, F. I. Parra, and A. A. Schekochihin, Critically balanced ion temperature gradient turbulence in fusion plasmas, Physical Review Letters 107, 115003 (2011)
• M. Barnes, et al., Turbulent transport in tokamak plasmas with rotational shear, Physical Review Letters 106, 175004 (2011)
• M. Barnes, et al., Direct multiscale coupling of a transport code to gyrokinetic turbulence codes, Physics of Plasmas 17, 056109 (2010)

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