Nathaniel J. Fisch (photo by Elle Starkman, PPPL)
Nathaniel J. Fisch Photo by Elle Starkman, PPPL
The symposium will occur in Princeton on March 28-30, 2016 on the occasion of Professor Nathaniel J. Fisch's 65th birthday and will honor the many innovative scientific contributions of Professor Fisch to plasma physics and education.

Nathaniel J. Fisch is Professor and Associate Chair of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. He serves also as Associate Director for Academic Affairs at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). He also is Director of the Princeton University Program in Plasma Physics. In 1998, he was the Chair of the Division of Plasma Physics of the American Physical Society.

Professor Fisch's professional interests include plasma physics with applications to nuclear fusion, plasma processing, plasma devices, lasers, and astrophysics; plasma thrusters, plasma-based separation methods, laser-based plasma accelerators, and atomic radiation in plasmas; complex liquids and continuum electrohydrodynamics; petroleum refining; statistical inference and pattern recognition.

University education

 MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
 (BS in June, 1972; MS in January, 1975; Ph.D. in February, 1978)

Academic honors and prizes

2015Hannes Alfvén Prize, European Physical Society
2013Weston Visiting Professorship, Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics, Weizmann Institute
2005James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics, American Physical Society
2004EO Lawrence Award, United States Department of Energy
2004Gold Medal, United States Department of Energy
2003Fellow of NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts
2002Bronze Medal, US Department of Energy, Outstanding Mentor in Undergraduate Research Programs
1992American Physical Society Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics
1987Fellow of American Physical Society
1985John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow
1968-1972MIT National Scholar


2011Associate Chair, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University
2000Associated Faculty, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University
1993Associate Director for Academic Affairs, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
1991Director, Program in Plasma Physics, Princeton University
1991Professor, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University
1986Visiting Scientist, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
1981-1986Consultant, Exxon Research and Engineering Co.
1978-1991Research positions, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
The symposium will occur in Princeton on March 28-30, 2016 on the occasion of Professor Nathaniel J. Fisch's 65th birthday and will honor the many innovative scientific contributions of Professor Fisch to plasma physics and education.

The symposium is also aimed to determine, in broad strokes, what was accomplished in fundamental theory and applications of plasma physics within the last 40 years. A unique emphasis will be on open questions and unsolved problems. We hope to survey recent advances and foresee future directions in both research and education.

The key topics include:
  • physics of magnetically confined plasmas, with an emphasis on plasma interactions with radiofrequency waves, particularly phase space engineering, including radiofrequency current drive and alpha channeling;
  • plasma physics for inertial confinement fusion;
  • laser-plasma interactions, including the next generation of high intensity lasers and particle accelerators;
  • plasma devices, including plasma thrusters and mass filters;
  • connection between plasma physics and other scientific disciplines, such as condensed matter physics, astrophysics, and atomic physics.
The program will include 25-30 invited presentations (15 min for the talk + 5 min for questions), posters, a reception, a banquet, and, tentatively, a tour of PPPL. In addition, we anticipate a number of short contributed talks to be given by alumni of the Princeton Program in Plasma Physics, which Professor Fisch has been leading for over 20 years.

A collection of papers will be published as a follow-up to the symposium in the Journal of Plasma Physics.

Advisory committee

Alain BécouletCEAFrance
Richard DendyUniversity of WarwickUK
Ambrogio FasoliEPFLSwitzerland
Amnon FruchtmanHolon Institute of TechnologyIsrael
Alec GallimoreUniversity of MichiganUSA
Mark HerrmannLLNLUSA
Charles KarneySRI InternationalUSA
Jiangang LiIPP CASChina
Alexander LitvakIAP RASRussia
Howard MilchbergUniversity of MarylandUSA
Gennady ShvetsUT AustinUSA
Philip SnyderGeneral AtomicsUSA
Jean-Marcel RaxÉcole PolytechniqueFrance
Jonathan WurteleUC BerkeleyUSA

Scientific program

In preparation.


Mon, March 28 Reception Free to all registered participants
Tue, March 29 Banquet Ticket required, see Registration 
Wed, March 30 Tour of PPPL

Confirmed invited speakers

Thomas AntonsenUniversity of MarylandUSA
Riccardo BettiUniversity of RochesterUSA
Paul BonoliMITUSA
William BrinkmanDOE Office of Science (former)USA
Emily CarterPrinceton UniversityUSA
Robert ConnThe Kavli FoundationUSA
Paul CorkumUniversity of OttawaCanada
Steve CowleyUKAEA, Imperial CollegeUK
Jill DahlburgNRLUSA
Bojiang DingIPP CASChina
Ambrogio FasoliEPFLSwitzerland
Kenneth FowlerUC BerkeleyUSA
Amnon FruchtmanHolon Institute of TechnologyIsrael
Tünde FülöpChalmers University of TechnologySweden
James GlanzThe New York TimesUSA
Daniela GrassoInstitute for Complex SystemsItaly
Mark HerrmannLLNLUSA
Predhiman KawIPRIndia
Yue Ying LauUniversity of MichiganUSA
Yitzhak MaronWeizmann Institute of ScienceIsrael
Howard MilchbergUniversity of MarylandUSA
Gérard MourouÉcole PolytechniqueFrance
Margaret MurnaneUniversity of Colorado BoulderUSA
Chang Hee NamInstitute for Basic ScienceSouth Korea
Ron ParkerMITUSA
Yves PeyssonIRFMFrance
Stewart PragerPPPLUSA
Robert RosnerUniversity of ChicagoUSA
Alexander SchekochihinUniversity of OxfordUK
Gennady ShvetsUT AustinUSA
Luis SilvaISTPortugal
Philip SnyderGeneral AtomicsUSA
Jean-Marcel RaxÉcole PolytechniqueFrance
Dennis WhyteMITUSA
Jonathan WurteleUC BerkeleyUSA
Guosheng XuIPP CASChina
Online registration has been closed because we are unable to accommodate more participants due to limited seating. On-site registration remains possible only for those who confirmed their participation earlier. Please contact the organizing committee if you have any questions.

Preferred hotels

Participants are encouraged to book rooms in one of the two preferred hotels:
  • Nassau Inn, which is located in the heart of Princeton, right next to the main campus of Princeton University. A block of rooms is reserved at Nassau Inn for March 27-30, 2016, at the rate of $127/night + taxes. Participants can make reservations by either of the following two methods: by calling the hotel at 800-862-7728 and using the Booking ID "20650" or through the hotel website. The rate is guaranteed until March 3, 2016 (new deadline) or until all rooms are taken, whichever comes first.
    If needed, participants staying at Nassau Inn can use parking garages located adjacent to the hotel on Hulfish and Chambers Streets.
  • Homewood Suites, which is located half-way between PPPL and Princeton University, right off U.S. Route 1. A block of rooms is reserved at Homewood Suites for March 27-30, 2016, at the rate of $121/night + taxes. Participants can make reservations by following this link or by calling the hotel at 609-720-0550 before March 10, 2016.
    If needed, participants staying at Homewood Suites can park for free around the hotel.
Note: A participant may be eligible for a tax-free room rate if traveling as an employee of a tax-exempt institution. The documents confirming the tax-free status should be presented to the hotel front desk upon arrival.

In addition to a guaranteed low price, booking a room in a preferred hotel has the advantage of guaranteed transportation to/from the symposium venue via the conference shuttle bus. The shuttle schedule will be posted closer to the event.

Other hotels

Participants are also welcome to choose other local hotels if they prefer to. Some options are: Some of these hotels have their own free shuttles that participants can use to travel to/from the conference venue. For inquiries about this option, participants are encouraged to contact the hotels directly.

Symposium transportation

In addition to the aforementioned conference shuttle and hotel shuttles, possible free means of transportation between hotels and the conference venue include: For ground transportation between hotels and airports, see Planning your visit.


We recommend flying through the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). From EWR, there is a shuttle transportation to Princeton at the cost of about $40 one way. Alternatively, use AirTrain to get to New Jersey Transit train station; then take a train to Princeton Junction (or, with a transfer, to Princeton) and, from there, a taxi to your hotel or to PPPL.

For other options, including alternative airports and driving directions, see here.



Symposium transportation

For means of transportation between hotels and the conference venue, see Hotels and transportation.

Registration form for non-U.S. citizens

All non-U.S. citizens must receive an approval to enter PPPL. To obtain the approval, please fill out the following online form.

Letter of invitation

If you require a letter of invitation to obtain a visa, please contact us as soon as possible with the following information:
  • Full name
  • Affiliation
  • Office addess
  • Office phone number
  • Title of your talk (if you are an invited speaker)

Required documents

Visitors traveling to the U.S. are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the U.S. See here for the list of countries exempt from the six month requirement. See here for more information regarding the documents that foreign nationals are required to have when entering the United States.

Visa information

In particular, attendees with passports of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program should visit the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website to apply for a travel authorization.

Attendees with passports of countries that do not participate in the Visa Waiver Program must obtain a visa. Please apply for your visa well in advance of your travel. Here are some important steps to remember:
  • Review your visa status and find out if you need a U.S. visa or a renewal.
  • Review the visa wait times information available at the following website.
  • Visit the embassy or consular section website where you will apply for your visa to find out how to schedule an interview appointment, pay fees, and any other instructions.
  • Plan on an interview at the embassy or consulate, which is required for most visa applicants. As part of the visa interview, a quick fingerprint scan should be expected. Applicants who need additional screening will be informed during the application process.

Other useful links


Abstract submission: March 11, 2016
Early registration/cancellations: March 11, 2016
Paper submission to the Special Issue of JPP: July 15, 2016

Frequently asked questions

  • May I bring my spouse or significant other to the banquet?
  • Yes, absolutely. Many participants are already planning to bring their family members to the banquet, and we encourage everybody to do so. Guest tickets for the banquet can be ordered at online registration.
  • What are the charges to publish a paper in the special issue that the Journal of Plasma Physics will produce in honor of the event?
  • There are no publication charges.
Please email other questions to the symposium coordinator, Beth Leman, or to the chair of the organizing committee, Ilya Dodin.

Collection of papers

As a follow-up to the symposium, a collection of papers will be published in the Journal of Plasma Physics (JPP). This collection is intended not as a conference proceedings but rather as a Special Issue of a regular journal. Thus, papers are expected to be of high quality and will undergo a standard review. We encourage all invited speakers and poster presenters at the symposium to submit contributions. Submissions from non-attendees are also welcome. There will be no publication charge.

Because of the very special topic of the symposium, the authors may depart from expectations of standard journal articles in seeking to be scientifically stimulating to the readers of JPP; in particular, authors can offer a global perspective, focusing on the big outstanding questions and major accomplishments in plasma research. We anticipate that most papers would be 2-8 pages in the JPP format. Shorter papers within this range might be, for example, of the type that serve to identify a new and key unsolved problem at the frontier of the field, rather than to provide the answer to that problem. Longer papers, including review-style papers, are also welcome.

If you decide to submit a paper to our Special Issue of JPP, please do so by July 15, 2016.

For further inquiries, see the symposium website or contact the editors. The editors of the Special Issue are Ilya Dodin and Hong Qin.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
P.O. Box 451, Princeton, NJ 08543-0451

GPS: 100 Stellarator Road, Princeton, NJ, 08540

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, managed by Princeton University and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is a collaborative national center for plasma and fusion science.

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