William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor, Depts. of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, the College, and the Computation Institute, University of Chicago
Ph.D., Harvard, 1976
Theoretical and computational physics, fluid and plasma dynamics; solar physics; high-energy astrophysics; energy technologies and policy.
My research is mostly in the areas of plasma astrophysics and astrophysical fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics (including especially solar and stellar magnetic fields) and related problems arising in laboratory fluid dynamics and plasma physics; boundary mixing instabilities; combustion modeling; applications of stochastic differential equations and optimization problems; and inverse methods. I have continued research interest overlap with the DOE/ASC Flash Center at Chicago (which I led for its first five years); this Center has been a pioneer in the development of computational astrophysics codes with broad applicability to other disciplines; have been closely involved in that Center's research activities in flame modeling and interfacial mixing; and have gotten quite involved in activities related to future developments of computational physics and astrophysics on the national level. I have also been involved with a Wisconsin/Chicago/Princeton NSF-supported Physics Frontier Center (CMSO) focusing on problems lying at the boundary of astrophysics and laboratory plasma physics, mostly in areas related to magnetohydrodynamic instabilities in low Prandtl number fluids. More recently, I have as a result of my work at Argonne National Laboratory become involved in energy technologies and their implications for energy policies on the national and international levels, especially in areas related to nuclear (fission and fusion) power; and I confess to a growing interest in modeling biological systems.
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