I am a computational plasma physicist, currently a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester. I work jointly in the Extreme State Physics Laboratory (XSPL) run by Professor Pierre-Alexandre Gourdain, and the Flash Center for Computational Science, led by Professor Petros Tzeferacos.
My research may be summarized as a general questioning of how things that operate at smallest scales impact macro-scale physics. I prefer to work within a hydrodynamic or fluid-based framework, with a larger interest on harnessing transport in plasmas. Some general examples include:
- how does turbulence, injected at the smallest scales, impact macroscopic transport quantities in a magnetized plasma?
- to what extent might validation of hydrodynamic plasma properties aid us in understanding the microphysics that facilitate astrophysical collisionless shocks?
- how might the generation of seed magnetic fields provide feedback to large scale, cosmic magnetic fields through the dynamo action?
keywords: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), turbulence, transport, mix, instabilities, magneto-inertial fusion, laboratory astrophysics, FLASH
MHD Transport Dependence on Microscale Processes
I am interested in the microphysical impacts on macroscopic, or meso-scale, transport quantities in collisional magnetized plasmas* [Braginskii, 1965]. Effectively I care how concepts such as resistivity, heat conductivity, and viscosity, might be dependent on phenomena such as turbulence in a magnetized collisional plasma. One such regime where you would encounter such plasmas are in Z-pinches, where the Lorentz force law is utilized to employ inertial implosions mediated by magnetic fields.
The premise of my work is quite simple in that I perform what I refer to as "numerical experiments." Such examples are listed here:
Some potential applications or outcomes of this work:
- Tabulated transport coefficients; potential improved simulation run time; another regime of verification
- Interdisciplinary interest outside of my interests; star formation, mixing, rheology, geophysics
- Publicly providing these databases for scientific use and study
- Development of Z-pinch capabilities in FLASH [see below]
Magnetic field generation from laser-target illumination*
The Ion-Weibel instability is a leading candidate mechanism that mediates shocks in astrophysical plasmas and aids in the generation of magnetic fields. These structures originally form within an initially unmagnetized, collisionless, interpenetrating plasma; one can think of them as two colliding flows. Experiments performed at the OMEGA laser facility at the LLE visualized Weibel-driven magnetic field structures with 15-MeV fusion protons at the midplane between two CH foils separated by 5mm [Huntington+2015, Park+2015, Huntington+2017]. Additional experiments were performed by our Project Lead and colleagues for varied foil materials. Thomson scattering data was used to benchmark modeling for full temporal evolution of the plasma.
My contributions to this project may be summarized as a validation of the latter experiment's results. My single-flow overlapped FLASH simulations compared well with data for the 8-mm separation cases of CH and Al. The plasma conditions (density and velocities) provided from my FLASH results then aided in a fastest-growing-mode analysis. The outcome suggesting minor variation in magnetic field strength and saturation.
Project Lead: (General Atomics) M. J.-E. Manuel
Collaboration: (UCSD) S. Ghosh, R. Jonnalagadda, F. Beg; (LLNL) C. Huntington, J. S. Ross, D. D. Ryutov, G. F. Swadling, H.-S. Park; (UR) M. B. P. Adams, P. Tzeferacos; (Osaka U) Y. Sakawa; (MIT) H. Sio
Magnetic fields are omnipresent in our universe and a key astrophysical process behind their origin is the Biermann battery mechanism [Biermann, 1950]. This mechanism generates magnetic fields due to misaligned density and temperature gradients, also encountered in terrestrial laser-driven plasma experiments [Haines, 1986]. The latter are therefore ideal for validating the theory and simulation tools used to model magnetic field generation in astrophysical and laboratory environments. Recent high repetition-rate laser experiments performed by the HEDP Group at UCLA [Pilgram et al., in prep.] on the PEENING laser are furnishing large datasets of Biermann battery magnetic field measurements in expanding plasma plumes via B-dot probes, centimeters away from the laser-target interaction. I am leading a suite of numerical simulations that model these experiments, using the multi-physics radiation-magnetohydrodynamics code FLASH. The simulations allow us to explore a variety of questions regarding the plasma properties of the expanding plasma plumes and the strength and spatial distribution of the Biermann battery magnetic fields.
Collaboration: (UCLA) J. J. Pilgram, C. G. Constantin, C. Niemann; (CSUCI) S. Feister; (UR) M. B. P. Adams, P. Tzeferacos, P.-A. Gourdain
* These two projects in concert form the foundations of my dissertation on understanding cosmic magnetic fields through field generation resultant of laser-target illumination
Contributions to the FLASH code
Z-pinches are a naturally occuring phenomena. For example the mechanism is utilized in the collimation of astrophysical jets, and atmospherically during a lightening strike. However Z-pinches are notoriously used in artificial settings, in particular, pulsed power devices (PPD), so as to deliver large amounts of energy (upwards to 1 MJ) in a short amount of time (nanoseconds) to a centimeter-scale target. Effectively what happens both within nature, as well as PPD, is that an axial current is generated, which is then furnished by an azimuthal magnetic field via the Lorentz force law. The magnetic energy may supercede the gas pressure, resulting in an implosion.
I have been leading the initiative to develop this capability within the high-performance computing adaptive mesh refinement code, FLASH. Once convergence testing has been completed the capability will be publicly available.
physics > sourceTerms > CurrentDrive
- FLASH's modularity allows for the implementation of a UNIT that calculates the current and timing for a variety of pulsed power devices (named CurrentDrive)
- Calculation via analytic forms as well as file I/O based on user preference
- Allows for multiple drives
- The only runtime parameters needed from a user are the peak current, rise time, and associated shape of the drive
- Natural organization for implementation of a circuit model
Simulation > SimulationMain > magnetoHD > zPinch
- Different flavors of Z-pinches require different methods of handling numerically, so multiple problem modules are provided (SolidLiner, GasPuff (TBD), and WireArray (TBD))
- A unit test is provided for the implosion of an ambient material; does the amount of magnetic energy put in, equate to the amount of energy put out?
Once it is converged, tested, and prepared for publication it will be publicly available in the following release.
Your patience is appreciated.
The Flash Center for Computational Science also acknowledges support from the U.S. DOE NNSA under Subcontracts 536203 and 630138 with LANL and B632670 with LLNL.
- E-mails to a Young Computationalist; a compilation of emails I wrote on how to make and run FLASH executables on HPC machines at UR (no longer maintained)
- Click here to learn how to become involved in PASSAGE mentoring (for PAS graduate students only)
- Click here to access resources on mentoring compiled by PASSAGE (relevant for PAS graduate students)
Past and current mentees:
|2018-2021||Hannah R. Hasson||P.-A. Gourdain||PhD student, UR Department of Physics & Astronomy|
|2018-2019||Nitish Achyara||Hussein Aluie||PhD Student, UR Department of Mechanical Engineering|
|2018-2019||Shira Katz||Hussein Aluie||B.S. Mechanical Engineering UR (2019), NVH Vehicle Performance Engineer for Honda R&D Americas, Inc. as of 2019|
|2018-2019||Carter A. Ball||P.-A. Gourdain||B.S. Physics (2020), graduate student in the Department of Physics at UMD as of 2021|
|2017-2021||Imani West-Abdallah||P.-A. Gourdain||M.S. student, UR Department of Physics & Astronomy|
|2016-2017||Nathan Wies||P.-A. Gourdain||B.S. Physics UR (2020), software engineer at Akkio as of 2021|
|2016-2017||Chiamaka Alozie||Pierre-Alexandre Gourdain||B.S. Chemical Engineering, iirc she now works for the EPA!|
During the Fall semesters of 2015 and 2016 I was Head TA for the Mastery-Self-Paced (MSP) version of Introductory Electricity and Magnetism for engineers. This involves the overseeing and management of upwards of 10-12 graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants and interns to ensure the course runs smoothly. I performed a significant amount of course development during those semesters to streamline the position of Head TA and the course in general. You may find my materials for Head TAs and the course in this git-repo. If you've used the repository, please become a contributor! I was first introduced to the MSP concept at its inception in the department. You can find more information on MSP courses below on this webpage.
This course was led by Professors Arie Bodek, Steven Manly, with consultation from Dan Watson. I worked closely with Nicholas Valentino from the College Center for Advising Services to assist struggling students in the course.
* For my work contributing to this course administratively and within the classroom, I was awarded the University's Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a graduate student from the Office of the Provost in 2017.
(below) Comparison with how a student may procrastinate on module completion in an MSP course to drinking too much champagne too fast. (top right) An illustration of how current, voltage and resistance play a role in wire... but with cats! Can you guess which one is which? (bottom right) similar extrapolation to solving circuits problems. Huge thank you to my colleague Jeffrey Kleykamp for designing the images with cats at my request, and to David Munson for printing them for the MSP classroom!
Spring 2014, PHY121P, Mastery/self-paced mechanics for engineering majors
Professors Arie Bodek and Steven Manly
For more information on MSP courses...
- Professor Dan Watson's Two flavors of Physics write-up on the spirit and ethos of MSP learning
- A ted talk by Sal Khan on teaching with the purpose of achieving mastery, not high test scores
- Masi, B., & Watson, D. M., & Bodek, A., & Khaitan, D. A., & Garcell, E. (2015, June), Comparison of Mastery Learning and Traditional Lecture–Exam Models in a Large Enrollment Physics Course. Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23719
Professor Lynne Orr
Professor Orr gave us free-reign in our workshop sessions. I took the liberty to write up my own workshop modules using problems from D. J. Griffiths, Giancoli, and Halliday, Resnick, and Walker. I wrote these up as an undergraduate so please be kind in your judgement!
** For my performance as a Teaching Intern, I was awarded the Department's Undergraduate Teaching Award (2014), which is presented at commencement to honor the best undergraduate teaching interns of the graduating class.
PREP: Pre-college experience for women in physicsFor more information, visit the department's program listing.
I had the privilege to be exposed to teaching opportunities early on as an undergraduate student. My first experience was in the summer of 2012. I had implemented and instructed the PREP Program at the University of Rochester's Department of Physics and Astronomy. The program invites women high school students from Rochester and the Greater Rochester Area onto the UR campus to be exposed to the collegiate atmosphere in the context of a physics summer school. Introduction to basic concepts (mechanics, electricity and magnetism, among other things) and topical research are provided through engaging activities, laboratory tours, visiting speakers and workshops.
- (2020) Women in Plasma Physics Allies training via APS DPP
- (2020) Co-facilitated and organized (with Carla Watson) a Day of Action for PAS; see the TailoredDoc; resulted in new committee for faculty and inspired UR's "STEM Recharge" Day
- (2020) Member of CMEC Inclusivity sub-committee
- (2020) Nominated by PAS for the University of Rochester's eleventh annual Presidential Diversity Award
- (2019) Sunday Student Day at APS DPP
- (2018) Panelist at annual NE CUWiP, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
- (2017) Participant in the APS Skills Development Workshop (facilitated by Dr. Kerstin Nordstrom)
- (2016) Graduate student recruitment table at annual NE CUWiP, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
- (2015) Aided in the facilitation of Janet Fogg's retirement celebration from PAS (co-created a retirement fund, collected memories from alumni and turned them into a scrapbook)
- (2015) Light Weekends for the IYL2015 at the Rochester Museum and Science Center via UR SPIE
- (2015) Pre-College Experience Open House Day at the University of Rochester, advertising the PREP Program
- (2015) Founder of University of Rochester, Women in Physics & Astronomy group (UR-WiPAS), now affectionately renamed, WoPAS (read: "whoop-ass")
- (2013) Presentation on PREP/Women Into The Natural Sciences (WINS) at the North Eastern (NE) Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP), Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- (2013) Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship (WiSTEE) member
- (2012-2013) Society of Physics Student Vice President
- (2012) Co-founder and secretary (2012-2013) of the University of Rochester, Astronomy Club
- (2010-2014) Creator and maintainer of the Society of Physics Students Laser Harp Project (SLasH); this project was funded by the SPS Undergraduate Research Award
- (2020) Organized the eXtreme State Physics Laboratory Research Experience for High School Students, find more information here
- (2017) Ongoing graduate student/worker unionization effort (URGSU), partnered with AFTA
- (2015) Girl Scouts of Western New York STEM-a-Palooza
- (2014-2015) Warner School of Education Enrichment Horizons Program for RCSD students; co-facilitated the Astrophysics section
- (2014) Outreach talk, "Your Computer: An unexpected frontier in star formation" to that year's PREP Program, and the Pre-College Admissions Program at the University of Rochester
- (2012) Planned and facilitated Pre-College Experience in Physics (PREP) for girls
- (2012) SLasH at the annual Rochester ArtAwake festival
Click here for full PDF
Marissa B. P. Adams
500 Joseph C. Wilson Blvd.
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627
(2021) (tentative) PhD Physics, University of Rochester (Advisor: Pierre-Alexandre Gourdain)
(2018) M. A. Physics, University of Rochester
(2014) B.S. Physics, University of Rochester
(2014) B. A. Mathematics, University of Rochester
- P.-A. Gourdain, M. B. Adams, M. Evans, H. R. Hasson, R. V. Shapovalov, R. B. Spielman, J. R. Young, and I. West-Abdallah, "Current adding transmission lines for compact MA-class linear transformer drivers", Phys. Rev. Accel. Beams 23, 030401 (2020)
- H. R. Hasson, M. B. Adams et al., "Design of a 3-D Printed Experimental Platform for Studying the Formation and Magnetization of Turbulent Plasma Jets," in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, vol. 48, no. 11, pp. 4056-4067, Nov. 2020, doi: 10.1109/TPS.2020.3020000
- R. Shapovalov, M. B. Adams et al., "Low-Inductance Load Test of a New 250-Ka, 150-Ns Pulser for Fast X-Pinch Sources," 2019 IEEE Pulsed Power & Plasma Science (PPPS), 2019, pp. 1-4, doi: 10.1109/PPPS34859.2019.9009748
- P.-A. Gourdain, M. B. Adams, M. Evans, H. R. Hasson, R. V. Shapovalov, J. R. Young, and I. West-Abdallah , "Enhancing cylindrical compression by reducing plasma ablation in pulsed-power drivers", Physics of Plasmas 26, 042706 (2019) https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5086305
- M. Evans, M. B. Adams, P. C. Campbell, N. M. Jordan, S. M. Miller, N. B. Ramey, R. V. Shapovalov, J. Young, I. West-Abdallah, J. M. Woolstrum, R. D. McBride, and P.-A. Gourdain , "Reduction of ablated surface expansion in pulsed-power-driven experiments using an aerosol dielectric coating", Physics of Plasmas 26, 070704 (2019) https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5066231
- P.-A. Gourdain, M. B. Adams, J. R. Davies, and C. E. Seyler , "Axial magnetic field injection in magnetized liner inertial fusion", Physics of Plasmas 24, 102712 (2017) https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4986640
- E. Fogerty, A. Frank, F. Heitsch, J. Carroll-Nellenback, C. Haig, M. Adams, "Molecular cloud formation in high-shear, magnetized colliding flows", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 460, Issue 2, 01 August 2016, Pages 2110–2128, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw1141
- P.-A. Gourdain, M. Adams et al., "High field assisted X-ray source," 2016 IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS), 2016, pp. 1-1, doi: 10.1109/PLASMA.2016.7534280
- (2020) Astronomy Journal Club, Rochester, New York/Virtual; Talk/Seminar
- (2020) CMEC AC Meeting, San Diego, California/Virtual; Talk
- (2020) First Annual ZNetUS Workshop, San Diego, California; Poster
- (2019) Center for Matter Under Extreme Conditions (CMEC) Advisory Committee Meeting, San Diego, California; Poster
- (2019) 61st Annual Meeting of the APS DPP, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Talk
- (2019) APS DPP Student Day, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Talk
- (2019) 46th Annual IEEE ICOPS / Pulsed Power and Plasma Science Conference (PPPS), Orlando, Florida; Talk
- (2019) Flash Center Visit, Chicago, Illinois; Group Seminar/Talk
- (2018) 45th Annual IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS), Denver, Colorado; Talk
- (2018) Astronomy Journal Club, Rochester, New York; Talk/Seminar
- (2018) 3MT, Rochester, NY; Lightening Talk
- (2017) 59th Annual Meeting of the APS DPP, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Poster
- (2017) Flash Center Visit, Chicago, Illinois; Group Seminar/Talk
- (2016) 58th Annual Meeting of the APS DPP, San Jose, California; Poster
- (2016) PiTP, Princeton, NJ; Lightening Talk
- (2016) Summer Student Review @ Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Talk
- (2016) Astronomy Journal Club, Rochester, New York; Talk/Seminar
Office / Mailing Address
471 Bausch & Lomb Hall
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627-0171